How Much You Are Loved

On Wednesday my students found a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. Why the mother bird built its nest on a small branch, at the edge of the tree on a precarious lean I have no idea but hence why baby bird was on the ground.

I wasn't there for the initial find, a colleague dealt with that and put the bird back in the nest. Unfortunately only an hour later some of my students came to tell me that the bird was back on the ground. I went out to find a tiny baby bird wriggling on the ground utterly helpless. He was ugly, there were no feathers, you could literally see his insides, his eyes were big, black, closed dots on his head and his wings flapped around in despair. He was in a sad state... and I had several students now watching to see what I would do.

I picked the baby bird up and searched for something to feed it. I knew that holding it was the best way to keep it warm. For the next 40 hours I feed him, kept him warm, protected him from my cat and provided a heated 'nest' to keep him alive over night. I kept him alive. And what did he do? He bought up his food, pooped on me and wriggled around in my hands. Helpless.

During this time of holding, wriggling, eating and pooping I had also started to read a series of books called 'Sensible Shoes' by Sharon Garlough Brown. The first book ('Sensible Shoes') introduces us to 4 very different women who meet up at a spiritual retreat. Each woman has a different reason for attending and a different journey to walk. As each woman's journey unfolds we see them learn of the love God has for them and his deep heart to nurture and protect them. His desire for relationship.

I remembered a verse in Matthew 10:29 - 31 that says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care (God). ... So don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.'

And isn't that what we are like? We are the helpless, pooping, spewing, wriggling sparrow and God loves us through all our mess and through all our helplessness. None of us have got this life together but He loves our ugly. He sees everything about us and loves us anyway. Because we are His beloved.

You may have already set up your Christmas tree and sorted your decorations throughout the house (mine was done weeks ago!) but I love this picture of Christmas that was in 'Two Steps Forward' the second book in the 'Sensible Shoes' series.

'The whole stage was a mess. An absolute mess. Paint cans, trash, beat-up car doors and bumpers, overturned shopping carts, scraps of paper and wood... but there was a manger near a trashcan, and this light was shinning from the manger up to a big wooden cross. And it cast this huge shadow of a cross on the wall. It was powerful. Ugly and awful and powerful.'

God entered into our ugly, into our mess to show us how much He loves us. And He continues to enter in to that same ugly mess today... because He loves you so so much.


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