Friday, June 26, 2009

Even one sparrow?

Male English Sparrow On RailImage by jwinfred via Flickr

Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
31:So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

We had a small death in our backyard on Wednesday evening. I heard my spouse yell sharply - "RILEY!" .....and indeed our precious Westie, Riley, did drop the small baby sparrow that he had in his mouth but probably not prior to giving it an extra "squeeze" before the release. He is a dog after all bred as a hunter.......

The frightened, struggling sparrow was gently laid on a ledge and when I went out to inspect it, certain that I could verify the small creature was not to die but just frightened, it was making sound motions with its little beak but there were no sounds coming out. I suggested that we should place it in a nearby shaded flower urn because no matter what I wished for, the bird was dying and I couldn't bear that it was on a hard surface with no comfort around. Mercifully, as Steven picked up the little bird, it breathed its last. I choke on the lump in my throat as I tell you of this small innocent loss of a bird's life.

I know the lump of sorrow and mourning in my throat is real but I believe the lump is made up of more than this small bird's dying. I believe it may be due to the gruesome news coming from Tehran prefaced by the CNN News reporter warning "what we're about to see contains graphic images." Graphic indeed, an innocent girl's bloody and senseless dying caught on a video phone clip. The helpless bystanders, me via the news being one of them, screaming internally and externally, why, why, why - life is so precious, life is so short, why, why, why must this world hate, hate, hate? How do young persons have the nerve to take their lives in their hands for democracy's promise of freedom? Do they not know how precious and short their lives are? Do they believe they will be protected because they are on the "right" side of an issue?

Or maybe it's the news that another "troop" or two of ours - would that be a child or friend, a human living being, that "troop" that was just killed today or the innocent bystanders blown up by a fanatic seeking his right to die in the world, or maybe it's the newspaper's report of a 24 year old walking brazenly armed into a high school gymnasium and killing a former coach of his in cold blood. I cry out again to the only entity that will possibly hear and know my anguish - I ask God, why, why, why?

Why do I cry? It's all so logical to me, the answer does not have to be in clearly spoken English words, the logic being, that mankind has been given the freedom to run this world of ours and even though God could intervene at any time and in any place, the sparrow, the precious girl, the "troop," the coach in his class space, die because one of us is in charge. The lump in my throat is for all the needless death and suffering in this world and the part of me stuck inside my throat asking why, why, why? How do we escape the sorrow, the hurt, the anguish of innocents betrayed and slaughtered? I don't think we do - we may yet be personally alive and breathing, but for Jesus' sake we do not escape the responsibility of needless death and dying. It sticks in my throat, does it stick in yours?

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  1. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Yes, it sticks in my throat. What compassion for a small bird. I see Jesus in that. Thanks for sharing.

  2. ....and thank you both for responding!

  3. it does. it does indeed. we found a lifeless baby sparrow on our deck this week. i had much the same response. you also gave me great confirmation of why i choose to watch so little news. the graphics just about do me in. lest anyone think i may forget or turn my head, the images stay with me even when i have not seen them over and over and over again! xoxo