The word is out, we are becoming a dove maternity ward. On our patio we have a hanging planter where we are on our fourth nest since spring. As soon as one dove leaves, another moves in and lays her egg(s). At first they are a bit intimidated by the large humans wondering around below them, but they quickly get use to us and us to them. So far two sets of babies have lived and, we assume, grown to serenade us in the cool early mornings as we sit outside trying not to disturb the latest squatters. It’s too bad we can’t be charging rent. But the last baby bird didn’t make it. When it left the nest for the first time it landed on the concrete patio and died. There was no funeral, just a memorial service.

It happened to me again today. I was leaving my office when the woman I work with had a tiny little baby mockingbird cupped in her hands. She was working with one of graphic artists and they were trying to fashion some kind of make shift nest to put the baby bird back in the tree, close to where it fell. I went out with her and we found what we think is the original nest, so I got our ladder out, climbed about twenty feet in the tree, and put the baby bird back. Soon the mother had returned and there was rejoicing all around. But it got me thinking: why did one bird not make it in a fall of about seven feet and the other bird survives a fall of twenty feet?

I thought of the scripture where Jesus is talking about sparrows, and how they compare to us.

Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Notice Jesus didn’t say that God would protect each one of the sparrows, and that we are more important than sparrows so He will certainly protect us. He said that the sparrows won’t fall apart from the will of God. God is fully aware of the sparrow, or dove, or mockingbird. And He is aware when one falls, whether it lives or not. There are certain laws that have been set in motion, by God Himself, and the outcome of which may be unpredictable. Did God make one of the sparrows fall on concrete killing it, and the other on leaves, thus allowing it to live? Or did it just happen that way because of where the mom and dad chose to build the nest? What about our own lives? Do some things happen because of our own free will, decisions we make, that will grieve God’s heart? God is with us, comforting us during tragedy, rejoicing with us in triumph. But things will happen in life that we have no control over. Let us always remember: “Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”