I love feeding the birds in my garden. I only have a couple of varieties that frequent, but they bring me so much joy. I have just witnessed a couple of batches of babies, I have begun to recognise individuals, and have named a few. This will be the last week I feed them, because they need to be wild and free.
Last week I was watching them, and a whole family of sparrows descended at once, and I caught myself thinking, "Eh, it's just sparrows." Of all the birds that visit, they are the least colourful, most difficult to recognise individually and most plentiful.
I was suddenly reminded of the verse where Jesus says:
God has no trouble recognising individual sparrows. He knows each one and when one falls, he knows, and he cares.
Recently a beautiful friend of mine passed away. She was anything but a common sparrow. She stood out from the crowd, not because she was 7ft tall, (which she wasn't) but because of who she was.
Mel was this extraordinary person who always seemed to be "saving" people. She had a knack of seeing people through their darkest times and always listening. She was one of the most empathetic and compassionate people I've known.
She was an optimist who always saw the glass half full, with a wonderful sense of humour and a great full-on laugh! We didn't agree on everything, but that didn't deter the friendship.
She was also one of the most determined people I have ever met. I remember vividly a conversation we had when she wanted to have a baby. She was a nurse, so she had an understanding of the medical profession, and the medical profession had told her that she would never have a child. She was hearing all the usual stuff, "everything happens for a reason", "God has a plan" all the religious cliches that get hauled out. She wouldn't hear them. We sat and chatted and she told me that God had promised her a child, and she listed all the reasons and ways that he had reiterated that promise. I told her to just believe God.
She did fall pregnant and it was not easy. I remember visiting her in hospital where she had to be for the last few months (I think.) It was a long time. I don't know if I have ever seen someone who was so ready to be a mom or so excited.
What joy Caleb brought her - I don't think any child could have been more wanted, more waited on or more loved, than Caleb.
Mel, you were never a common sparrow, we grieve your falling, and you leave a huge gap in so many lives.
Every time I see the candlestick you brought me from Israel, I remember you.
Tonight, I will light it in remembrance of you.
All I know is we will see each other again.
Until then Mel,