When a Sparrow Falls – An Allegory of Failure & Hope

Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. Mt 10:29

Once upon a time a Momma bird hatched new baby sparrows. One sparrow was bigger and stronger than the other sparrows of the nest. With time, he grew faster, grew grander than his nest mates. There was so little this sparrow couldn't do and became legendary among the other sparrows. Creatures of the air and land would come from all over to watch this one amazing sparrow fly, soar, and sing. Like all things great, many loved him. Many wanted to be like him.

Many wanted to be in his presence as it somehow made them more popular, important and special, well, at least so they thought. As many loved our hero the sparrow, others disliked him. Others were critical of him, calling him to standards that no mere sparrow could ever live up to. The higher he flew, the louder he sang, the bigger a flock he drew, the more the criticism and out cry for un-sparrow like perfection.

How high can he fly? How sweet can he sing? The sparrow was not unaware of the attention. Truth be told, how could you miss it? In fact, kinda hard not to like it and actually believe the hype. The pressure to perform and the trappings that are inherent of a sparrow took him to new heights and longer songs but also lows of lows and dirges of dirges. The efforts to cover up the lows of the lows and the mourning of the dirges cannot be kept up for long – even for this hero our sparrow.

As it happens from time to time in every life and ever so bitter for those who live vicariously through the lives of others, like our hero, our sparrow falls to the ground. Inevitable that the ground reaches up and knocks us from the high place in the sky.

Our hero, our Sparrow, lay on the meadow floor. Lying breathless, hurt and grounded with the gasps of the forest dwellers and those of the air. “Oh, how our hero has fallen! What shall we do? How could he do this to me?” The critics squawk “I told you so! We were right!!” with smug satisfaction and others look on with disbelief. Watch and see how his groupies flee like the night at the dawn. Hear the mourning of the meadow as the great sparrow has fallen. Creation weeps.

Some people make cutting remarks,

but the words of the wise

bring healing. Pr. 12:18

Right and wrong, assessing blame is moot when one lay broken on the cold meadow's ground. The truth is crystal clear in the shattered remains of relationships, ego, and dreams. Pious “should of's and could of's” are the stench of rotting pride when one's target is at the mercy of predator and friend alike with the anthem of the self-righteous on the wind. Can you hear it? Familiar indeed. It's chorus is “Shame”.

Now abandoned to disgrace, the hand of the One who truly loves, shades the sparrow from the sun, wind, and rain. Gently binds his wings and most dearly, his broken heart. Not a 'told you so' or a rejection but an embrace of love and the healing balm of mercy and hope. The hand that feeds and restores that one day our sparrow may raise it's wings and take to the skies once again.

And the God of all grace, who called you

to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have

suffered a little while, will himself restore you

and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1Peter 5:10

What's that? A new song in the air? A song of hope. A song of promise and life. For when the time of healing is finished our sparrow will fly again with a new song. The sweetest of songs – the song of a redeemed life.

Surely God is my salvation; I

will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD,

is my strength and my song; he has

become my salvation." Is. 12:2

Written for a dear sparrow friend of mine whom I love even while he lies near death on the cold meadow floor.

"neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God that is

in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ro. 8:39



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