You cup your hands as you gently lift the injured sparrow from the swimming pool water and peer down at it. Your young faces are full of concern for the creature that has flown frantically around our backyard, staying just ahead of Buddy our German Pointer - intent on obeying his hard wired birding instincts.
“What should we do mom,” you three ask, and so I say, “Let’s take it inside where it will be safe for a while. Buddy will have to stay outside for now,” the dog still searching the yard for his elusive prey. So, you and your brother and sister take over, preparing a soft, towel lined cardboard box and then go online to research the appropriate action to take to care for an injured bird.
In my heart I think the story will have a sad ending, as many birds die from the fright of being handled. But you are persistent in finding out what to do, and quickly prepare a lid for the cardboard box, punching holes in the cardboard sides and adjusting the blinds on the laundry room window to cut out the light.
We are all speaking in soft voices now, and the timer on the stove is set as you instruct us to do -- now we just have to wait. Your sister isn’t very patient in her vigil, every few minutes requesting a peek into the box. But you know time is important, so we wait, and I wonder what we will see when we finally remove the lid and look inside?
Time passes, the box is opened, the bird flies free. Life is spared, and our hearts are touched as we play a small part in something bigger. And I consider how our small lives resemble those of sparrows, eating from His outstretched hand.