Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Soon, I will watch the swallows nest in the barn, hatching naked in cups of twig and feather. Soon, fat bodies will crowd and I will wonder why they stay stuck when there’s a whole world to explore, where open expanse calls them to fly free. I guess we all like our comfort zones, even when we’re squeezed immovable.
When the day comes, as it always does, I will watch each of the young step up to the edge while their parent waits on the broken and nailed solid, pleading, squawking. If the young will live, they will fly. But first, the jump into unknown. No more resting and fattening. Now is the time for testing. Now is the time for faith.
One by one, I will watch each swallow leap, virgin wings flapping, young hearts beating, flying straight, eyes fixed, to their parent waiting on the broken and nailed solid. And they will stand. And they will rest.
I wonder, as I do every year . . .
Will the young swallows be scared? Will they look down? Will they think about sinking, splatting, horses stomping below?
And I wonder . . .
Would they ever fly if not for expectations, for social pressure?
Or is there Someone larger than their fear?
I watch the swallow eyes—fixed, focused on parent waiting a few feet away. Wings flap, preparing for their jump.
And then . . .
They leap over the edge, one by one, wings spread wide.
For a few seconds, swallows fly awkward. But they fly straight. Straight to their parent, watching and waiting on the broken and nailed solid, just a few feet away.
Job well done!
I imagine each one hearing their hoped for reward. And then the next. And the next. Until all in the nest make it safely and land securely on the broken and nailed solid where their Encourager stands strong.
They will rest then, sitting in a row on the broken and nailed solid. They stare at me staring at them. And I wonder . . .
I wonder at how fledgling swallows can cause gratitude tears in an aging woman as she mucks the stalls of others, day after day.
And then I see my God—the God who cares for the sparrows and swallows—the God who cares for each fledgling flight of faith—of longing—the God who longs to say . . .
Well done, little one.
‘Come to the edge’,
He said. They said,
‘we are afraid’.
‘Come to the edge’,
He said. They came.
He pushed them, and