23 February 2011
A Sparrow and an Earthquake
On Monday, a sparrow died on my deck, just outside my back door. I've always had a soft spot for sparrows, and it made me very sad and I wished that I could have done more to help it.
I was going to make my post about this sparrow, and how I felt and what Elliot and I did with it, but then a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, only 5km deep, 10km SE of the CBD.
Suddenly, one little sparrow - while still sad - had less of an impact on me than the madness and destruction in our beloved country. New Zealand is small, and if other New Zealanders are anything like me - and I suspect they are somewhat - they will be fiercely proud of our beautiful little piece of the world. To see some of it struck down like this is devastating.
Christchurch, our hearts are aching for you. Our tears are flowing. We want to reach out our hands to help you and we will do whatever we can that will make a difference.
I can't bear to think of the children that have been left without mothers or fathers, the parents that don't know where their children are, husbands who can't find their wives, friends that don't know if their friends are safe, people who know their loved ones are in one of the collapsed buildings. It's just awful.
Amongst all of this, it's okay that the sparrow died here on Monday. I'm glad I could give it some compassion in it's final moments, futile though that might be to a bird that doesn't understand humans. I'm glad that Elliot and I could say a prayer together after we had wrapped it up. Because it immediately brought to mind these verses from the Bible. Verses which tell us how our God is in control. Verses which speak to us about how much our heavenly Father cares for us - no matter what happens.
Matthew 6:25-26 says, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 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?"
Matthew 10:29-31 says, "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. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Here at my house, God knew it was time for that sparrow to die.
In Christchurch, during that earthquake, God knew what was happening, and was there.
In the times that are now following, God is there.
I am not eloquent and do not have impressive words to write. I just pray that these words from Jesus' mouth will bring comfort to those who are hurt, frightened, lost and grieving. I pray that God would use this time to bring New Zealand closer to Himself, and New Zealanders closer to each other.
Christchurch, we've got your back.