She was alone. Sparrow in waiting. Created in browns and grays, her life fragile in the false cradle of the towering world. Tiny feet and stubby wings kept her close to the ground. The beat of her heart so small it was barely a flutter in the workings of creation. Her days were spent in a search of tiny seeds, small insects and droplets of moisture. Her existence, modest in the grandeur of the Kingdom.
Another was found, that shared the melody of her song. Together, they built a nest in a low-lying bush. Weeds, grass, leaves and lost threads made a tight weave to resist cold winds and heavy rains. Soon the nest was full of life. Babies learning to fly. Testing their wings. After a busy day, the sun moved beyond the horizon. The mother sparrow kept vigil. Long past night fall, when all the other birds were fast asleep, she lifted her beak and sang into the cool, night air. She sat on the edge of her nest, hope perched in her vulnerable heart, waiting for a response. Night after night she sang. All she ever heard was a slight echo of her own song. She was listening in the stillness for something more. Each night she fell asleep in the middle of a song, unable to hold her head up any longer. Some mornings she awoke thinking she had heard a distant response, then knowing it was only a dream.
This day, as she watched her babies practice their flight patterns, she saw a large shadow moving across the grassy prairie. Most of the trees barren of surface life, in peace they stood, to pause a growing season. They sky opened up wide without leaves obscuring her view. She lifted her head skyward and saw a majestic eagle sailing so high that he cleared the tree tops. His complete wingspan graced the sky with dignity. With wonder, the sparrow marveled at how miraculous it must be to clear treetops, to look down upon the ground as some distant world, to sail the farthest winds, on command. Head tilted down into a full nest, she tightly closed her tiny, moist eyes against the vision.
A new season came, summer brought warmth and babies almost grown. One summer night, her voice small and weak, after singing into the early dawn, she heard a distant song. It was not the simple song of the sparrow. Yet, she recognized the psalm. It came closer and closer to her, until she could close her eyes, and hear it in her heart. The song drew her upward. Did the song offer her the wings of an eagle? Was it an offer of a great empyrean place in the sky to those gifted with wings of the eagle? The sparrow wanted to know her world from a heavenly panorama. She knew there were colors of green leaves and grasses that her eyes had never seen. She knew there were blues of the sky and water of which she had never fancied. The light of day grew stronger. Day and it’s movement crept into her heart.
The song was silenced with the day’s stirrings. In the lull, her awareness increased. She found a footing larger than her small existence. Among the soft leaves and grass, her nest was cradled at the true foothold of a throne. In her meagerness, she discovered His majesty. The foot of a golden, bejeweled throne extended down to her low-lying, un-kept corner of her world. The rich reflection of His throne warmed the light into a royal glow that beamed into her nest. Her wings remained stubby and gray on the outside, but inside something grew that was bigger than her small life. The warm, golden light grew something from within. The flutter in her chest eased to a steady beat. Why would she need wings of power when she was vested with the heart of an eagle?
The eagle continued to soar in the heavens. The sparrow continued to sing late into the night. In the stillness, some nights, her song was answered with another, more beautiful promise of complete freedom. Freedom beyond what the sparrow knows. Freedom beyond what the eagle knows. Freedom beyond the songs of the night. A large hand reached down into the nest and lifted her up into the late, moist night air. Gentle fingers stroked her delicate feathers. She closed her eyes to dream. Sparrow in waiting.
Job 39:27, Palsm 84:3 Tracey Warren Elofson, January, 2006