We had a little sparrow taking refuge in our garage during the cold wet winter. I don’t know when it was coming in, but many nights or early mornings in January, I would find it flitting around in the garage when I let the dogs out. My routine was to close the door at night to keep things from freezing in the garage, and open it in the morning to let the dogs out. Somehow, the sparrow would be there.
I am sure the sparrow was just trying to stay protected from the cold and wet weather. We had a bunch of rain in late January. The ground got totally soggy. I had a big bucket just outside the garage that got about 3 or 4 inches of water in it. A giant rain gauge of sorts. Multiple times over the last few weeks I would see the bucket and have the thought “You should empty that bucket.” But it was kind of interesting to see the rain measurement and I did not take the time to bend over, pick it up and pour it out.
The other day, I found the sparrow, dead in the bucket. I guess he flew to the edge of it on a cold morning, trying to get a drink, fell in and couldn’t get out. He froze, or drowned or both. I was very sad, and I regretted ignoring that “You-should-empty-that-bucket” feeling that had struck me multiple times over the last few weeks.
I took the dead bird out of the bucket, belatedly poured out the water, and turned it over. I tossed the poor sparrow over the fence into the woods and headed back into the house apologizing to God for ignoring the prompt to empty the bucket sooner. Then I remembered something I had done recently. More likely, I was reminded by Someone of something else I had done recently. I had been praying, complaining to God about one-sided conversations and the fact that He did not speak to me. As I walked into the house I didn’t hear a voice, but I got the message from Father God loud and clear. “See, I do speak to you. And I care about the sparrows, remember?”