I killed a bird. I didn’t mean to. I was driving Saturday morning and ahead I saw two black marks on the road in my lane. It really didn’t look like marks but something. As I got closer I could see the something was two small birds. Birds always fly away before it’s too late. But that one got up too slowly. Move bird! Looking in my rear view mirror I saw it lying upside down. I killed a bird.
Immediately after saying to myself, “It was just a bird,” a Bible verse assaulted me. “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). Hmmmm. God loves every life, even those we might consider to have very little worth. It is not just a bird. It is a life created by God and one that drew God’s attention just now. How can I take lightly a death that God does not?
God cares about lives we sometimes undervalue. “Praise the Lord! . . . who made heaven and earth, . . . who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. . . . The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, . . . Praise the Lord! (Psalm 68 5-6). In the Levitical Law, God commanded, “You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, . . .” (Leviticus 19:32).
God loves every life. If I love Him, I must love as He loves. He is watching those who are hurting, helpless, discarded, wounded, and alone. A very special calling have those who become God’s hands to help and arms to hold those people who have God’s special attention.
Lord, make our hearts tender, so that we never treat anyone as “just a bird.” May we always be touched by those who have fallen, and moved to action that accentuates their worth. Amen!
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
I suspect that most people do not understand the power of confession. We would rather carry around our guilt, keeping it hidden from everyone, than to admit our guilt to anyone. When the unconfessed guilt has weakened and sickened us, we would still rather pay someone to listen to us, who we will never see again, than to confess to a family member or friend.
The Psalmist expresses it this way. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer (Psalm 32:3-4).”
James tells us in our opening text that healing will not come until we confess it to someone and pray together about it. Do you remember when your children were young and they would confess things to you they had done? After praying together you celebrated the confession and rejoiced with a strengthened bond of love and new joy. Why do we delay the healing process? Why do we prolong the suffering?
Relationships change between parents and children as we all grow older. Old un-confessed sins of the parent, or of the child, or both, may still gnaw at us and may be the reason for today’s emotional and physical pain. But now, it is more difficult than ever to confess the wrong.
Is it possible that your parent or your child needs to confess a wrong? Perhaps either the adult child or the ageing parent could help the other with a simple question offered carefully and lovingly. “Is there anything you always wanted to tell me that you haven’t been able to tell?” Or, “Is there anything in our past that still troubles you today?” If confession comes, take it together to God in prayer, and be prepared to be as full of grace and forgiveness as God always is. Let the healing begin.