JJ Heller

More Than A Sparrow

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Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~ Matthew 10: 29 – 31

          After a late-night sparring with an insensitive and thoughtless colleague from work, I awakened to a Saturday morning, still an angry red from the thorns of that unexpected conflict. 

         Pausing at my window, I looked out at our front lawn. The first rays of the sun were already falling from a blue-and-white-tufted happy morning sky. It should have been a cheery start to a much waited for weekend but it wasn’t because of a late-night text message sent by someone who had thoughtlessly pushed aside consideration and compassion. On any other day, I might have absorbed it, fumed over it in silence, and them, moved to comply. But Friday night wasn’t any night; it was one of the many nights we have been enduring, in deep suffering and emotional privation that has yet to see its end. And some days, you can only take so much before something erupts from the force of relentless stress and pressure.

          Friday night was such a night. At my window the next morning, I was upset that even the gift of a fresh Saturday morning, a blue-and-white day, wreathed in the gold of new sunshine, was dulled due to what had happened. I had prayed for God’s forgiveness in case I had sinned by engaging with my colleague when He had told me to be still and to let Him fight for me; and I had prayed for my colleague too even as I prayed to forgive her – but it seemed as if any allure the golden morning promised had been extinguished.

          Presently, I saw something I don’t often see: two sparrows poking around and pecking at the thick grass of our lawn beyond the window. Their littleness and perhaps, their nondescript appearance do not make them the birds I often search for or listen out for. But I know they are always around – on the fence, on tree branches, on the electricity wires, pausing for a quick moment to collect bird-thoughts before urgently taking off.

          They are everywhere but I’ve never noticed them on my front lawn, even if it’s where they always are.

          Soon enough, I forgot about the wee brown birds. There were Saturday things to do and a nice twilight ride out to the countryside to look forwards to.

          And then, the sun speared light through the clouds. Another text message from my colleague was awaiting me and it was clear a light had pierced her. In that moment, the thorns of the previous night left me and I forgave her from my heart and told her my love for her remained. In a few quick strokes, the bitterness of the night had passed and I went on with my day, my heart much lightened.

          Towards the end of the day, driving out on languid roads, a JJ Heller song, Don’t Give Up Too Soon, came on.