This morning as I was coming in to work, I took a detour to do a couple of errands…stop at the bank and pick up a prescription at the drug store. That took me in to work via a little different route than I normally go. The pace of the traffic was a little slower, and a little less hectic.
On the way in, I noticed in front of me in the other lane something in the road that was flopping around. As I got a little closer, I noticed it was a bird that evidently had been hit by a passing vehicle. It was alive, but obviously not in any condition to live any length of time. If it wasn’t hit by another vehicle soon, it would die of natural causes before long.
As I passed the bird, I briefly thought about stopping and moving it out of the street. I also thought about intentionally running over it to put it out of its misery. I did neither, however, and went on since the traffic, although not extremely heavy, was nevertheless consistent.
I also felt badly for the bird as I recalled seeing it flop around on the street. Something about that scene gave me thoughts of inevitability, mortality, resignation, and finality. The bird, although alive, was obviously facing imminent demise. And I was powerless to help or make any difference.
And then I thought of this: “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.”
Now, I know the gist of this passage, found in Matthew 10, isn’t that God knows when each and every bird falls to the ground. The gist is that He cares, lovingly, passionately, and fully, for His creation; and that means us humans, too. But there is truth in what Jesus said about the Father knowing when a bird falls to the ground. Otherwise, Jesus would have said something deceptive and wrong.
And I took comfort in knowing that the God of the universe knew about the bird on the pavement in my rearview mirror. And that He most likely was also saddened just a bit by the fallen creation and what it does to what He has made. And that He too was looking forward to the timeless future when the renewal and regeneration of His creation would be completed, and that He would never again have to see and know about a fallen bird, or a fallen anything else, for that matter.
So I went on my way with a sense of peace and renewal. I discovered anew that God continues to work in His creation and that He continues to be actively renewing, regenerating, and restoring. And I remembered that I too was a part of that renewal, and have a role to play in the grand scheme of things. Praise be to God Almighty!