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  • Writer's pictureSharon

The Sparrow

My usually quiet porch is noisy this morning.  Two sparrows are creating a ruckus as they build a nest on top of the gutter's leaf guard in a corner eave of my roof.

I hear them pecking intensely, sending leaves raining down.  I've made my presence known hoping to discourage them.  While it looks like a cozy, hidden place to nest, I know when the rains come, the nest will flood.

I wonder if these are young sparrows preparing for their first clutch.  One sparrow is flitting to and fro, bringing pine straw and small twigs, while the other is rhythmic pecking the nest into shape.

It makes me sad to think that all of their hard work is in vain.  Perhaps the spring rains won't be heavy and their little home will be safe; yet I know from experience that gutter will overflow.

A sparrow lands on planter a few feet away from me with a long piece of pine straw in its beak.

"You're doing all that hard work for nothing. You aren't going to get your intended result," I whisper.

It flies up to the gutter and pecking sounds resume. They continue to work hard, unaware their efforts are futile and will be fruitless.

Yet, how many times have I built my nest in the wrong place?  Too many times to count for sure.  A few instances come to mind.

I'm not impulsive; in fact, I am an over-thinker and always proceed with caution.  When I need to make a decision, I weigh the plausible risks and determine the most-likely favorable outcome before I commit.  And when I'm in,  I am all in.  I will invest my time, energy, heart and soul.  So when I realize I've nested in the wrong place, I wrestle with my failure.

Most of those times I built in the wrong place because my perceptions were flawed and tainted, which led me to make emotion-fueled and fear-driven decisions.  When the rains came and destroyed my dwelling place, my place of comfort, the place where my hopes and dreams resided, I had to choose to start over.    

The sparrow brings another twig. His wings flutter rapidly as he hovers, before disappearing from sight.  The pecking increases in volume and frequency.

Not all of my nests have been washed out.  Many have yielded abundant fruit.  There is one nest that I've been steadily working on for a very long time — one that I have been carefully and prayerfully constructing — that appears as if it may have been a waste of my time and effort.  Discouraged by the lack of results and response, I am on the verge of quitting and abandoning.

Yet, I am keenly aware that the appearance of the sparrow today is not a coincidence.

In Matthew 10: 29-31, Jesus says:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I am reminded that God sees the sparrow.  He loves, protects and provides for them.  He takes note of the smallest details, the minutest of matters, of His tiny creation.  And yet Jesus said I am more valuable than a sparrow.

So I consider the lesson of the sparrow. This small bird is nosily doing what sparrows were created to do. 

Like the sparrow, I need to be diligently building my nest. When the season is right, I will see the fruit of my labor.  Even if the rains come and wash out my nest, my work will not have been in vain. For it is in the process of building, that I continue to learn to build a better nest.  I just need to keep doing what I was created to do and trust God with the results.

And as I type these final words, the sparrow sings.

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