Of Bald Heads and Dead Birds (May 15th)
by Steve Brown
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Ponder these incredible, provocative words from our Lord:
So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 10:26–33)
Please note the easy way Jesus moves from the macrocosm to the microcosm, from the big deal about eternity and about salvation to “little things” like birds and bald heads. As I read this passage, I think, Man, that is a big jump. And then I remember that if you don’t live in grace in the little things, you won’t live in grace in the big things. Listen, God is involved in bald heads and dead sparrows and the eternal verities of the Christian faith.
Michel Quoist, in his book simply titled Prayers, writes a lot about what we might call “colloquial prayers.” He writes prayers about almost everything he experienced, and that’s the joy of that little book. When he sinned, he said, “I’m ashamed of being seen by my friends, I’m ashamed of being seen by you, Lord. … Lord, don’t look at me like that, for I am naked, I am dirty, I am down.” And God said, “Come, son, look up. … It’s not falling that is the worst, but staying on the ground.”
But one of the more fun prayers is where Quoist is sitting in church behind a bald-headed guy. And he’s thinking about Jesus’ words that even the hairs of your head are numbered. And he’s thinking, God, I praise you for that dome. I praise you that it’s so smooth. And I think of Jesus’ words, “Not a hair falls unless God’s aware of it.” God, you’ve thought about this man a whole lot. That makes me laugh, but it also comforts me.
Thought to Remember for Today
The good news doesn’t just cover us in church; it covers us in every place we go and in everything we do. It plays in the little arenas of falling hairs and dead birds.
Fitzpatrick, E. (2016). Grace untamed: a 60-day devotional. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.