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God, the Sparrow and You
Photo: Hua Zhuang
I once heard it said that God is the only one who shows up for a sparrow's funeral. What do you think about that?

If a dog gets hit in the street, someone is going to feel bad about it. Most likely, it belonged to someone and will, indeed, have some sort of funeral or at least a burial. And it's not just true for domesticated pets. Animal lovers mourn the passing of all kinds of creatures and even go as far as protecting their habitats and educating others about the circle of life.

But the sparrow. Who notices when a sparrow dies? The truth is that if they do happen to witness it, many people are downright happy about it and some have even caused it. Sparrows are very prolific and they can, in fact, become pests in some settings. Still, God sees each sparrow fall. God hears the last beat of the fluttering heart. God attends the funeral. Alone.

We know it's true that God notes the sparrow because the Bible tells us. But why does the Bible bother to tell us? That's the question. Of all the nuggets of truth to be included in God's messages to us, why the sparrow's death? It's because there is a powerful ingredient to God's character in that bit of truth that can profoundly affect our own relationship with our Creator.

That ingredient is attentiveness. Don't you love it when someone is attentive to you? Especially someone you love? Doesn't it make you feel great to have someone repeat the tiniest detail from a story you told them a while back, letting you know that they were truly listening? Don't you enjoy opening a Christmas gift and exclaiming, “How did you know this is just what I was needing?” Attentiveness. It's a wonderful character trait that shows genuine love in a tuned-in relationship.

God Notices

The reason God attends a sparrow's funeral is because God created that sparrow, and when the sparrow is gone, it is missed. While the song that sparrow sang sounded to our ears just like the song all the other sparrows sang, its Creator discerns the difference. If that is true, then what the Bible tells us in the second part of that sparrow passage (Matthew 10:29-31) should be of great value to us. It says that God sees every sparrow fall, and how much more does our Creator notice when we fall?

Ah-ha! That's the message. A message to always remember and never forget that if God can be so attentive as to attend the funeral of each fallen sparrow, how attentive must God be to our lives? Every shift of the wind under our wings, every ruffled feather, every attack of enemies around us. God notices and cares. And when death visits, God attends the funeral. Every time. And why wouldn't it be so? Who has lost more with each and every death than God has?

I'm so glad that our Creator has not simply put us into motion and left us to ourselves. Instead, God has created us each one uniquely and when we fall, there is Someone who notices, whether we are aware of it or not. Some days we may fly like eagles. Other days we may be sparrows. But every day, we are the creation of God's own hand, counted and loved.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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