JUST A SPARROW
By Erin Moore
Do you ever have days when you just feel plain, as if you
didn't have a single talent or gift you could offer someone? I
know I have those days. I feel it most often in the presence of
the obviously gifted. You know; those people, who sing so
beautifully and so effortlessly, dance with perfect aplomb, or
poise, play the guitar or piano with natural flair, etc. May God
forgive me for my envy but, oh, how I do. For the time being, I'm
going to assume I'm not alone.
I don't know what it is about this world but it seems like
everyone seems to associate the word "gift" with visible
perfection, myself included. I love to sing, but I don't sing
very well. Let's just say I have a limited octave range. I love
to dance, but I lack that aplomb that makes it visually pleasant.
I write articles once in a while (obviously), but I have horrible
grammar and a love for the conversational. Are you starting to
get my drift? Based on my own definition of the "gifted," I often
find myself lacking in comparison. But there's something God has
patiently been working into my heart like you might work marinade
into meat: He absolutely adores me and there's a reason He
planned me into existence. With all the "purpose driven" fads
lately, you'd think that wouldn't be so shocking. But, sometimes
my heart is as stubborn as my head.
I've been pondering (okay, maybe more like worrying and
stressing) about my "calling" and purpose. Before, I could see no
"obvious" gift. No matter how much I love to sing or dance, it
just didn't seem to fit as the one way I could worship God that
was specially mine. So, I've been praying about it and admittedly
feeling rather depressed about my usefulness in life. (You would
think those two wouldn't go hand in hand.) But I've also been
trying to be more involved at church, and a month or two ago I
volunteered to help with the sound system at church, not knowing
a thing about it. As it turns out, ere s really not a whole lot
to it. Adjust the volume, label the tape, put the tape in, push
record, push stop, take the tape out, etc. I'm happy to help, but
I don't think it's really my special calling. In fact, anyone
could probably do what I'm doing now, so I'm still feeling not
the least bit special.
Well, my husband and I were at a church picnic recently and
I was feeling particularly lonely and untalented. We had gathered
round to sing a few hymns and worship numbers, but I could barely
sing them. Remember, I love to sing. A strong wave of sadness and
emptiness had come over me. I walked away from the pavilion
thinking in my mind, "I feel so plain, like a robin." I watched a
bird fly across the empty space of sky between the pavilion and a
few large trees. "Even robins have beautiful eggs, though," I
thought. "I don't have any beautiful children. No. I guess I'm
more like a sparrow," Because I could not think of anything
special about the sparrow.
And then I thought, "But even God's eye is on the sparrow."
That thought echoed in my mind. The song "His Eye is on the
Sparrow" floated around in my head. Still, I couldn't absorb the
reality that God watched me even now with a truly overwhelming
It was either that night or the next that I felt a great
need to spend some quiet time with God. And then the song, the
sight of the bird flying across the sky, the realization of my
deep desire for purpose, all filled my mind. 1 prayed and wept.
And God reached out to me with words of love and comfort. As I
fell asleep, I was a little brown sparrow on the finger of God,
in my mind. He held me close to His joyful face, while lovingly
stroking my head. I fully. embraced and delighted in that message
of love. It makes me smile now to write of it.
Then, a few nights ago, I prayed again, but not just about
how I could be useful, but how I could worship God through my
life and the gifts He has given me. For the first time, He poured
a clear idea into my mind.
I'd love to share all about it, but I haven't the room, and
the real point of this story is not about my own calling, but
rather how I finally found the place where I could receive it.
First, I had to accept that God really is crazy about me. He's
not always happy with me, but that doesn't mean He never is. I
had to believe that when I come, offering my broken heart as a
sacrifice, submitting, and seeking His heart, and when I rejoice
in His love, He is utterly thrilled. Have you ever seen a proud
father playing with his child? Have you ever seen a big smile?
That is my point. I think I had been struggling simply to be
useful, to be productive in a spiritual way that I might feel
good about myself; when what I really needed to do was go to God
for my worth, and wow! It must be thousands of times more
comforting, more refreshing, more reviving, to go to God. Not
just the Bible, but God Himself; in prayer, to hear just how
crazy He is about you.
Erin Moor, and her husband attend, COG7 in Missouri.