Why a Sparrow?


I’ve been asked this question several times since creating this blog, and I think the question is very much warranted. It’s a pretty vague title. Why a little sparrow? Don’t animals exist without souls? Why not the “Soul of a Snow Leopard” or something a bit more exciting?

These are all good questions.

If you haven’t noticed by this point in the blog-posts I’ve written, they each contain a certain tension within them: finding rest but still moving, believing yet disbelieving, lonely but not without intimacy. These are all different tensions I’ve recognized in my own life. They’re always popping up in some shape or form. My Christian beliefs would summarize these feelings into a succinct phrase, “the already but not yet.” Or to put it more explicitly, already having been saved by Jesus from sin and shame but not yet having totally escaped the sin and shame in this world and in myself.

Okay, so about the sparrow?

Well the idea was actually sparked from reading the psalms.

The psalms have been a source of great comfort to me over the last few years. There’s an honesty and a hope that I relish. Often I read them to lament, and often I read them to be reminded – again, a tension.

Psalm 102 was one of those psalms for me. It was one that made me ache because it put words to how I felt at the time (and still often feel).

Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my flesh.

I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.

The psalmist cried words to God which I felt my own heart could’ve produced. Will I ever find a home? Will I ever be welcome? Does God even care? Will He ever show back up?

These few lines are to me the one side of feeling like a sparrow: lonely and on the outside of a home.

But there’s another side to the tension. And it’s found in Psalm 84 in which reminds me I have a home. A home that is promised to me and awaiting me, and it’s a home welcome for even the sparrows such as myself:

How lovely is your dwelling place,
  O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
  for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
  to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home… at your altars,
Lord of hosts,my King and my God.

*Sparrow doodle by Tarrik H.

One thought on “Why a Sparrow?

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