Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (NIV)
Each day, for about four weeks, while enjoying my first cup of morning coffee, I have been watching the constant antics of two black squirrels. It didn't matter when I happened to glance out the window, rain or shine, they were tearing up and down this huge tree, chasing each other, pausing briefly to nibble something in the grass, then racing back up the tree. It has been highly entertaining and quite engrossing, as I have mentally joined in the game, wondering if it were a "hot romance", nest building, or simply filling up their stomachs.
A few days ago, I noticed that one had disappeared. The other one sat alone on a bare branch in the drizzling rain, a motionless little black bump swaying back and forth in the icy wind.
I felt a strange sadness as I watched the furry little creature through the rain drops trickling down my picture window. As I stood there, several questions flickered through my mind. What happened to its mate? Do squirrels have emotions? If so, how is it feeling? Abandoned? Frightened? Lonely? What will it do now? And why am I feeling this strange sadness over a squirrel?
I shook my head at these silly thoughts and busied myself with the long list of jobs that were waiting for me. However, I still caught myself snatching peeks out of the window several times during the day.
For the next few days, I caught occasional glimpses of the squirrel, and once again, I wondered why its aloneness seemed to touch me in such a way. Perhaps God was whispering some new lesson in my ear. Could it be that there was someone I knew who needed a phone call, or a cheery card, or even more importantly, a visit? Loneliness is a heavy burden to bear, especially on one's own.
We sing a touching little song that says:
- God sees the little sparrow fall,
It meets His tender view;
If God so loves the little birds,
I know He loves me too.
– Maria Straub, 1874
On second thought, I no longer consider my feelings toward that lonely little creature as silly, because it has brought to mind once again the immeasurable depth of the love of my wonderful God and the awesome fact that He, Who is love, loves me, too.
May I leave one question with you, my reader? Is there someone you know who might need a helping hand, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or even a warm hug? He loves them, too, and He may be calling you to pass along His love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us always to be aware of the unspoken needs of others and to remember the words of today's verse that remind us that You, our loving God, are aware of the needs of the sparrows, and will always be there to whisper new messages of love into our hearts. Amen.