The sun peered through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. As I quietly slipped out of bed, fatigue and stiff joints greeted me for the day. Snuggling into a sweatshirt, I routinely followed the smell of percolating coffee.
The sun rose slowly over ridges and rooftops, casting a golden glow on all of creation. A warm cup of coffee in hand, I nestled into a white porch rocker at the edge of the deck. The dew sparkled like stars on the grass. Filling my lungs with the crisp air of spring, I treasured being the only one awake.
And like a hundred birds.
The earth was alive with melodies, as if answering the call of daybreak. Morning doves, cardinals, blue-jays, sparrows, geese, ducks, white-bellied hawks, sandhill cranes – all flocked and flitted about. Bunnies bounced across the lawn. A bald eagle soared above our home.
It’s like an episode of Nat Geo Wild around here.
As I listened to nature’s mighty chorus, one character in particular caught my eye. A tiny mama bird had perched on the wooden pergola beside me. Curious, I watched her dive in and out of the fir tree nearby, carrying twigs in her beak.
She was so little, seemingly unnoticed in the crowd. Her features weren’t fancy. Nothing about her would draw much attention. Her tiny chirping voice drowned out by the sound of others. One branch at a time, she diligently built her nest yet her efforts seemed small in the grand opera of spring.
Watching her conjured up all too familiar feelings. Because often I feel a lot like her. Small. Insignificant. Just one of many. I fear being forgotten, unseen and overlooked.
Are my needs noticed? Is my voice heard? And if my societal contribution is small or none at all, do I still matter?
Compared to the complexity of creation, this little bird seemed insignificant at best. When it came to her fleeting life, did anyone really notice her or care?
Suddenly, I recalled the words of Jesus in the gospel of Luke.
“Consider the birds…are not five little sparrows sold for two cents? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. Moreover, even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Be not afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows”. Luke 12:6-7
In the midst of war, natural disasters, political clamor, climate change, technological advancement, individual ambition, health epidemics and a thousand other things going on in the world, God has not forgotten a single bird.
Not only did God create little mama bird but in the global migratory crowd He sees her. He knows her. He is aware of her individual needs; sustaining, feeding and caring for her all the days of her fleeting life.
Birds may be a dime a dozen to us but even they are valuable to God. What we may see as meaningless, God says has meaning. Little and insignificant as they are, they are still worth God’s time, attention and care.
If God cares this much for the smallest of creation, how much more does He value us – the pinnacle of creation, made in His image, the object of His sacrificial love.
Compared to the birds, He values us all the more. Compared to a mother, His nurturing care and attention to us is unmatched.
“But [I] said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten about me.’ Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has born? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you! Behold, I have written your name on the palms of My hands…” Isaiah 49:14-16
I may go unnoticed, but God sees me. He hears my voice. My feelings matter to Him. He watches over my life. When my efforts are small, He still uses me. When they are none at all, He values me just the same.
God will not forget about us. We don’t have to fear that He will neglect our care. His attention is not divided or distracted. Our needs do not escape His notice. The scars of Jesus bear your name and mine. He has written us on the palm of His hand with a never-ending love.
Even if our own parents abandon or neglect us, God never will. He is attentive, attuned and affectionate to every need, feeling and fear. He is nurturing and compassionate, comforting us when we are sad, scared or alone. Our concerns, He knows. Our cares, He carries.
Watching the birds has brought a new kind of rest to my soul this spring. When I see them, I remember that I am not forgotten. My God loves me even more than these. Though I have trouble in this world, He daily cares for my physical, mental, and emotional needs. God has my back. He guards my soul. My life matters to Him. And He will never neglect or abandon me.