A TENDER VIEW

A tweet caused me to pause. No, not that kind of tweet. This tweet was gentle, slightly enquiring and bemused. A tiny bird, newly fledged and bewildered, stood on the ground looking up at me. It had a large gape and – poor thing – was having a bad hair day. Was I the first human it had met? Was mine the first human voice it had heard? My instinct was to gather the little creature up and cup it in my hands. Instead, I moved my foot nearer. The fledgling flapped its unpractised wings, managed a lift-off of a few centimetres, then landed in a slightly undignified manner half a metre away in the hedge. I think it was a baby robin.

Maria Straub wrote a song I learnt as a child: “God sees the little sparrow fall, it meets his tender view; if God so loves the little birds, I know he loves me too.” Sentimental claptrap? Or simple truth? Jesus said, “Not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!”

God noticed that downy fledgling this morning. He notices, loves and cares for every creature: sparrow, robin, an invisible and sightless mole, a tiny tree frog, the minutest millipede – and you and me.

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