Friday, May 10, 2013

When Sparrows Fall...and Soar

Over the past six months I have been broken.  My priorities and plans have been shattered.  My life, as I had thought it would be, was taken apart.  I felt like a vase dropped on the floor.  I wondered why me?  Why is this happening to me?  Why now?
I thought those things (and still do sometimes).  I felt like God had dropped my life onto a hard and dark ground.  I felt confused and still do not understand this.  But that is not the point.  I do not need to know the why although I still ask it far too often.  A couple of months ago I first listened to the sermon "When Sparrows Fall" by Britt Merrick that was based off of this passage: 
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father...So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29 & 31).  
I listened to part of his sermon again today and was reminded and comforted by its truth.  Britt and his family were going through huge trial as his 8 year old daughter was battling cancer for the fourth time.  His sermon hit home because he was suffering but it also gave such hope.  Yes, our situations are very different but they come to the same point: trust that our loving Father is with us.  He knows suffering and speaks about what the true issue is when times are beyond believably hard.  He says, "A sparrow doesn't fall to the ground apart from Your Father's will.  That is a phrase that changes everything. Therefore do not fear.  He doesn't say a sparrow will never fall.  God says the sparrows will fall.  Bad things will happen in this world and in our lives but not apart from the Father.  God is never absent from the equation."  
Britt continues, "But what He isn't dealing with [in Matthew 10] is the question of why?" He further explain we always want to know why but suppose we knew why... Would why fix the broken heart?  Heal the hurt?  No, why will never have a satisfactory answer.  And that's because it is not the right question.  He explains, "Christ gives us an answer that redirects the question from why to who - not why do bad things happen but Who is present?" 
And through this time of being sick, I have realized that yes I was broken in the dark.  I am broken in the dark. But I am in God's embrace.  He is slowly building me back together.  In the face what I am going through, it is much more comfort knowing I am not alone.  Even though it is so hard to see the light - the end of illness, medication, testing, and medical appointments - I know He is building me back together stronger in Him than ever before.  Holding me, teaching me, equipping me.
From my window I watch the birds.  I watch them flying around, bathing in the water, pecking the ground for food.  They are small and weak but they still fly.  They spread their wings and soar!  When I change my question from why to Who, I see light instead of dark, I see God instead of me, I see hope and joy instead of despair!
The sparrows continue to fly and sing.  I am reminded of a beautiful post Ann Voskamp wrote on her blog, A Holy Experience, about a sparrow who flew into her home.  I will end with a piece of her wonderful writing and pray you may find some comfort and joy today as I have. 
The Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, “He who takes a review of his blessings, looks upon himself as a person engaged for God… He dedicates himself to God.”
This way.
This way
, I tell the sparrow. Pointing in that direction, the direction of grace, gratitude, joy — this is the best gift.
She who re-views her blessings, re-views herself — sees herself as beheld by her Beloved.
When you re-view blessings, you view your life right and you re-joice — and who doesn’t want joy over and over again?
Rejoice – it means that: to swell with joy again, again, again.
Who does this, who lives in a repeating joy? Sparrow with your wildly thumming heart in a very big world — do you know this? Repeat the sounding joy.
The thing is: we only repeat the sounding joy, re-joice, re-joy again and again, when we remember to give thanks — and again repeat.
And when I remember to give thanks in a fallen and broken world, this is what re-members me and I am put together again. That sparrow, I can see it’s beautiful shadow on the wall, how she opens her beak, her mouth, but she is too tired, too scared, too lost, and there is no sound. She is looking for song… right where she is.


Sometimes you feel caged when really you’re only cupped.
And then she does — she spreads her wings and she finds out: He is the air of this world and she’s meant to soar.
She swoops right towards the open window and I can hear it, re-joy, those wings that thrum thanks again and again and again.
And this is how a sparrow flies…

Photo credit A Holy Experience - Ann Voskamp

1 comment:

  1. This this post has brought me comfort in the midst of one of my darkest hours. Thank you so very much for sharing.


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