A Sparrow in the House


I climbed to the top of a ladder and perched myself there, waiting for a mother bird to fly the nest. I thought I would see eggs, but to my surprise two baby birds awkwardly stretched their fuzzy necks upward in anticipation of breakfast. Quickly, I focused my lens and shot a few photos of the chick-filled nest.

The scene brought to mind Psalm 84.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!

The mother bird soon returned and went into a frenzy when she saw me. Actually, she flew at me in an attempt to knock me off the ladder, doing what all mothers do to protect their dearest treasure, their young. This mother knew her central purpose in life and nothing would deter her from it.

As I looked at the photos later that day and thought again of the sparrow and swallow nesting near the altar of the Temple, I wondered why my so many professing Christians live passive lives when it comes to the church. The Psalmist wished he could trade places with the little birds and be close to the presence of God continually. When read with the surrounding verses, one feels the passion flowing from the author towards God in worship. His heart grasped God’s supreme value and beauty, narrowing the field of his desires down to one—to draw near.

Psalm 84 portrays an ideal none of us have obtained but many of us desire, giving us another opportunity to pray that God would work in our heads and hearts producing a right understanding of who he is, what he has done for us in Christ, and a right valuing of his infinite worth.



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