Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just A Sparrow?

I was out and about earlier today, doing errands. As I drove along, I saw the flicker of a bird out of the corner of my eye. Interested to see what type a bird it was, I took a closer look. It was a sparrow.

I sighed, and quickly dismissed it and drove on. And then it struck me. This little sparrow is one of God's creatures. And God loves all of his creatures just like he loves each of his children.. despite our flaws. He loves us no matter what, he loves us unconditionally.

Humbled, I considered this more. I once took an ornithology class at a local Audubon center. We looked at slide after slide of birds. Ooohing and awing over the beauty of various warblers, hawks, eagles and other raptors. We cooed over adorable chickadees, wrens and hummingbirds. And we looked at pictures of slides of starlings and sparrows... and when it was apparent that the group was eager to look at the prettier birds, we were told "There are no bad birds". And I discovered this with starlings a couple of years ago. Starlings are often considered to be nuisance birds. But when you get a good look at one, in the right light... they are quite beautiful in their own right. I'm also reminded of the story of the ugly duckling... who was written off until it turned into a beautiful swan.

As humans we are fickle, and at times shallow and superficial. There are the "beautiful people, who pluck and preen endlessly, tweaking and twittering to be the prettiest they can be. It often seems that they are valued more because of their beauty. There are some of us who are predators, powerful Raptors who prowl the skies looking for their next conquest and these are valued for their power and dominance. There are those of us who are tiny and mighty like a hummingbird, and valued for not only their beauty but for their bravado and spirit. Then there are people who are ordinary... like a robin or a wren... valued for contributing to society, for being good little worker bees! And then there are those who, by societies standards, are not "the beautiful people".. they are the sparrows, the starling and the grackles. Often considered to be pests and nuisances, it seems that some would write them off, without a glance... just as they would a junk yard dog, or even a dandelion...

...just like I did earlier today... when I realized it "was just a sparrow". While it was not a proud moment... it was humbling... and in a flash, I gained valuable insight. God loves each and everyone of us.. His children. Just as he loves each and every one of his creatures, and He asked us to love one another as our brothers and sisters.

As humans, we come in every shape and size, making up an amazing patchwork quilt of diverse colors, shapes, and patterns. And when you add the rest of God's creatures to that same patchwork quilt, it becomes quite dazzling... and basks in the warmth of God's love. In closing, Mankind can be awesome. When we're at our best, we are loving and kind... caring and compassionate... extending hands to fellow humans and the rest of God's creatures... accepting and loving them for who they are, not what we want them to be.

I thank God, for the insight I had today. I'll never look at a sparrow the same way again. Instead, I will look at it with appreciation, and give thanks to God for all His creation and for His love. Amen.

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