I have always loved the verse that says God cares about us more than sparrows.
I’m not sure I’ve always believed it, though.
For the longest time I kept it to myself, always nodding at the right time while in Christian circles, furrowing my brow in agreement when it was brought up. As if I was considering the depths of this unfathomable love, and swallowing it like sweet tea in the hot sun.
But that wasn’t what I was thinking.
I was actually imagining what it must be like to honestly believe God would love me that way.
Those girls in Bible study had their act together. And all I had was a Bible that had brand-new stuck-together pages and a date with a guy who couldn’t remember my last name.
I decided it was a complicated last name and stifled the desire to be known by either one.
But the image of a sparrow chased me everywhere I went.
Decades, in fact.
And I continued to believed that a God Who would love someone like me wasn’t worth loving back.
And one day, over a cup of too-cold coffee, I decided I wanted to know what it was that made this bird so important. I had gone through a very dark time in my life and I was looking for Him, for answers, for a reason to believe He even cared, let alone loved me.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t that worried about love.
I just wanted to know I existed to Him.
Why would He care about the number of tears I cry, or hairs on my head? I just wanted Him to know I cried at all.
I waited on Him.
After about an hour I came across (I was tempted to say stumbled, but we all know that isn’t true at all) an article on a particular type of bird. It wasn’t a Christian reference, but rather a zoological-type book with statistics and pictures for someone who knows much more about birds than I do.
I skimmed it until I came across a sentence that explained how this certain type of bird learned how to sing. I didn’t finish reading it before the tenderness overcame me.
“And this particular bird cannot learn to sing in the daylight because it is always concerned with the chatter around it. Instead, its cage must be covered so that it is in complete darkness. Then, it is able to hear its master and will learn to sing…”
More than a sparrow.
More than the pitch-black-darkness.
He loves me.
And in that place of feeling left alone, unwanted, disregarded, abandoned, He whispered to my weary soul;
In the black night, I listened to His voice and I heard Him in a way I never had before. I stopped trying to focus on the silhouettes around me, panicked and desperate for my bearings. I accepted the fact that it might be a long while before I knew where I was and how to find my way back. Slowly, I started to believe that He treasured me enough to trust my voice in the dark. Nobody watching, nobody to judge.
Just me and the One Who told me I was worth it.
Have you heard Him, too? I pray so.
Despicable as the shadows may be, they hold the promise of the Master’s voice. Worry not about tomorrow, wondering if the sun will come again.
It will, as it always does, in some sense or another.
In the meantime, raise your voice to the One Who loves you.
He loves you.
It isn’t too late to fill the sky with the sound of song. And when you do, know I will be not-so-far away, joining in with you as we await the dawn.
The Master is listening…
By Angie Smith, Bring the Rain
Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired...