Monday, September 26, 2011
Those Stinkin', Dirty Sparrows!
Of all the birds that visit my feeders, Max is the plainest, most uninteresting of them all. I often look around Max and his sort to see the beautiful colors of the gold finch, the cardinal, the blue jay, and most of all the grosbeak. One day my daughter asked me, "Why did God make those birds so ugly?" That's like asking why God made mosquitoes--who knows????? So I said, "They aren't ugly to Him."
I find it interesting that when God talks of the meticulous care that He takes with each person, he uses the sparrow as His example. Not the flashy and beautiful cardinal. Not the stunning blue jay. Not the regal gold finch or the majestic grosbeak. No, He uses the common, bland, everyday, run of the mill sparrow. And while I'm not even paying them one bit of attention except to look around them at the more beautiful birds, God is noticing when one of their feathers falls to the ground or gets bent into a weird position. Just as I can pick Max out of a crowd, God knows each of those sparrows intimately. To Him they are beautiful too.
To Him, all of His creation is beautiful, even if it has a few ruffled feathers.
So when I look for opportunities to witness or bless another person, do I see every person through God's eyes? Do I see something seemingly plain and ordinary, seemingly ruffled and flustered, a "dime-a-dozen" kind of person or do I see each one as something created by God, desired by God, and needing God? Do I tend to gravitate towards the more beautiful people-the successful people, the attractive people, the people with status and reputation? Or can I look into a crowd of people and see a "Max" in every person?
Sometimes I think that we grow frustrated with witnessing because we have so few results. But the reason that we have so few results is because we are witnessing to the wrong kinds of people. In our minds we think that a beautiful person, or a successful person, or a person a lot like us could have so much impact for the Kingdom of God because of who or what they are in a worldly sense instead of looking at the Maxes of this world and imagining what they could become by the changing power of a loving and mighty God. Jesus went to the needy, the lowly, the sick, and the oppressed. He didn't see them as one of many dirty, weak, and needy people in a multitude. Instead, He looked at them and saw the design the Father had for them when He knit them together in their mother's womb and He brought them back onto the path that would lead them to that end. He understood the grace of God like no other and He knew the power that it has to make a person brand new.
I was a Max. But I'm not anymore. Now I'm a songbird with a beautiful melody. Christ gave that to me. When Christ came to me, He looked past the ugly, despondent, broken outside and saw what God had intended all along, and I became what I never thought I could be. That's the power of His grace in a life.
Father, help me to see others through your eyes. No matter how unlovely they may appear to me, let me see the plan you had for them all along. Fill my heart with your compassion, your mercy, and your love for them. Let me look past the ruffled feathers and see the seed of the songbird that you placed in them before they were even born. And remind me Lord, of where I was when you found me that I might not judge them unjustly. Let your grace be upon me so that they can also see the grace that you have for those who will ask you for it and help me to sing your song as a sweet melody to the world. Amen.