Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27, NIV
As I embarked on my prayer walk today, I found myself focusing on introspective thoughts as opposed to focusing on my time with the Lord. I was trying to sort out all of the things I had to get done today, make decisions about upcoming trips, and figure out what I was going to eat for breakfast. When I finally realized what I was doing, I stopped and listened. As I listened, I heard the morning songs of the birds in the trees and sky around me. Like I often do when I hear birds, I opened my app that identifies bird calls. I started walking again, watching as my phone informed me of all the birds around me. The American Robin, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Phoebe, and Downy Woodpecker sure were vocal that morning.
As I walked around a corner in wonder at God’s creation of something as simple as a bird call and an app that could identify it, I noticed something out of the ordinary laying on the sidewalk. At first, I thought it was just a pile of feathers. But as I got closer, I could see that it was a small sparrow that had obviously broken its neck somehow and could no longer fly, though it was certainly still trying.
I felt so sorry for the little guy laying there on the cold sidewalk. But I had no idea what to do with this bird. It seemed cruel to leave it there in pain. However, my degree is in education and not veterinary medicine, so I did not feel qualified to help the poor thing. I decided to try to help it get up even though it was clear this bird was not going to survive for long. When getting up was clearly not going to happen for this bird, I just…picked it up. Then I had no idea what my next step was. I was holding a bird. Really? So…I just carried it with me on my prayer walk, thinking I could at least find it a nice spot to die in peace.
I carried this poor little creature to a sunny spot and set it down on a bench. While I watched as it perked up a little as the sun shone down and warmed its little body, God brought to my mind the old hymn :
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free;
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
At that moment, I realized something…God’s eye was on that sparrow. He cared for that sparrow enough to bring me across its path so it could pass away in a peaceful spot instead of around that corner on the cold sidewalk. It might seem crazy and insignificant, but it was a revelation to me. And you know what else? Not only were His eyes on that sparrow, but they were also on me. He was watching as I tried to be obedient and focus on Him during my prayer walk. He was watching me fail at making Him the center of my attention. Instead of being angry with me, though, He lovingly guided me to focus on Him through something I enjoy, the call of a bird. It would seem that obedience is for me… and the birds.
Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing me even in the midst of my worry. Thank you for reminding me that Your eye is on the sparrow, and it is also on me. You are such a patient and loving God. I ask that You would give the teachers reading this the same revelations You’ve given me today and that they would have the opportunity today to spend some intimate time with You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Copyright Morgan Preston.
Morgan is a former middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. She is currently Christian Educators’ Marketing and Communications Coordinator and serves her middle school students and teachers through First Priority.