Today I saw a bird fall from the sky.
You might be thinking, “Hmmm, the bird is a metaphor for something.” Nope, I actually saw a bird crash from the sky to the road in front of me. I live in Indiana, and the roads stretch out before me as I drive into an endless flat horizon. I am constantly driving along these roads to my children’s school, the store, the gas station, and doctor’s appointments. I’m cautious but not particularly worried about hitting something because I can literally see for miles.
That’s why this fallen bird caught my attention. The bird landed with a thud a few yards ahead of me. I looked around to see where it came from. No cars in sight, no wild animals, just a cloudy fall sky and one dead bird. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this tiny lost life all day.
I guess I’ve been feeling like I’m in a bit of a free fall myself. I’m married. I’m a writer. I’m the mom of eight and grandma of four. I’m a special needs mom. I’m a friend and a neighbor. I carry all of those titles with some pride, but I’ve been having a hard time juggling all of it this fall. My children’s special needs seem a little out of my grasp. My friendships are on the back burner.
My new book is still on chapter one (after four months). My marriage is taking the biggest hit of all. Once I’ve fumbled though all the other things, I have just enough time to give my spouse a half smile as I shovel one more load of laundry into the overloaded washing machine.
I’m just about to crash to the ground in defeat.
When I saw the bird, I was mesmerized by its swift descent. I pictured myself doing the same thing. What if I just stop flying? What If I don’t ever get this manuscript done? What if I don’t finish the laundry? What if I don’t pursue my spouse or my friends. What if I don’t show up to my child’s school? What if I just stop? It feels lonely sometimes, this feeling of free falling.
I thought about that bird all day. I don’t want to be that bird. I don’t want to stop flying. This feeling of lonely insignificance, though, I would like to change that.
Matthew 10:29-31 reads: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside of your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than may sparrows.
The Bible doesn’t tell us that in our Father’s care, we will have no trouble. The Bible tells us that even the sparrow may fall to the ground, and as the sparrow falls, the Father’s hand will be there with it. How much more will the Father look out for me when I am falling.
That is where I am today. I am still flying. I am still striving to be a good mom, a good friend, a good writer. But I am flying with the knowledge that the Father’s hand is on me always, even when I feel like I’m falling.