“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of our head are all numbered. Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
These verses were brought to my mind yesterday in an unexpected way. And no, it was not because I was fearful that I would also be able to soon number the hairs of my own head . I am not looking to join the men’s shaved head club anytime soon. No, this verse was brought to mind due to an encounter we had with a sparrow.
I was up in my room working yesterday afternoon when one of my kids came in to tell me that a bird was trapped. My initial thought was that maybe a bird had flown into our garage. But my kids told me that it was trapped in our basketball hoop. This seemed odd to me; how could a bird get trapped in our hoop? Was it caught in the net? No, it just so happened that someone forgot to replace the cap on top of the pole (just as I am avoiding shaving my head, I also avoided replacing the cap). Therefore, our pole was a hollow tube, and a sparrow had fallen down into it. I am not sure if it was a clumsy lander, or if the sparrow, like my wife, assumed the cap was where it should be. But whatever the case may be, it ended up inside our basketball pole.
As I assessed the situation, I was not sure what we were going to do. There was a small gap at the bottom of the pole (designed to let water out, not birds), and the sparrow was furiously trying to scramble out. I did not want to kill the bird or leave it to die. I also did not want to try and take the hoop down as it took quite a few of us to get it up. We looked around for ideas, and I found a small board in our garage. It was just thin enough to fit into the gap at the bottom of the pole. As I slowly pushed the board toward one side, the sparrow was able to push against the board and squeeze out from under the pole. As soon as it was free, it bolted for the sky and took off - hopefully to never land on another hollow pole. (And just to put minds at ease, the pole is now capped and hopefully sparrow-proof.)
As we rescued the sparrow, albeit from a trap I unwittingly set, I thought about these verses. I rarely take notice of sparrows. Even in Jesus’ day, sparrows were fairly insignificant; you could buy 5 for 2 pennies. I am not sure what that would be equivalent to now, but with inflation, I am sure it would be at least a quarter or two. Yet, as Jesus taught the multitudes, He tells us that God does not even forget one of these.
He was aware of the sparrow that was trapped in our pole yesterday. And if He is aware and cares for a single sparrow, how much more does He care for you and me? He knows the number of hairs on our heads! Jesus tells us that we are of much more value than many sparrows. The world around us seems to get crazier and more uncertain with each passing day; yet no matter what happens, God cares for us.
This does not mean that we will not endure hardship or go through difficult times. What it does mean is that for those who have placed their faith in Jesus, we don’t have to go through those times alone or in fear. We can trust the God who cares for every sparrow to care for us. We do not have to fear the world because the Creator of the world cares for us.
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b