Wednesday, June 21, 2017

the sparrow

“Two for a penny.”
That’s how much he sold me for.
Half a penny.
That’s how much I was worth.
On my own, next to nothing.

Who was this Man
at the market?
And what did He want
with two homeless sparrows?
Those eyes, kind and compassionate,
peered into our small cage.
For the first time in a long time
I stopped beating my wings
against the bars.
For the first time in a long time
I was still and silent
under His gaze.

He regarded me with grace and a grin.
“I’ll take those two,” he said.
Did he see something in me he loved?
Were my colors delightful in his eyes?
I had no song to sing; was it my size
that made him smile?

He paid the price
and reached into our cage
with both hands,
opened like the door.
It was late afternoon.

His hands were dirty
with traces of sawdust,
hard-working and trustworthy.
I can’t explain why,
but I wanted to be in those hands.

He held me tightly
and carefully all at once.
Just right, like he knew
what it was to be a sparrow,
small and fragile.

And as soon as he held me,
he set me free.

All that time, I had lived
in the shadow of the Temple,
but never enjoyed its shelter.

I flew straight
for the altar of incense.
Who can explain it?
Something of the fragrance here
reminds me of the One
who bought me.
Something of the scent
puts a fresh prayer in my chest.
It is only a small piece
in the grand scheme of things,
but I have found a home here
above its smoke,
where I catch the wishes
of the Priest,
who has caught the desires
of the People,
crying out to God for deliverance.
The aroma clings to my wings,
so all day long, every day,
I catch countless prayers
and carry them to the sky,
singing a new song—
the song of incense, bittersweet.

I may die tomorrow,
but I will die in joy—
for one day with God
is better than all that time
I spent living in a cage.



the sparrow
by troy cady
after Matthew 10:29 and Psalm 84:3



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