By Mark Briggs

ith the hot Louisiana sun cooking my back, I crawled on my belly for what seemed like hours. A tiny bird perched on a low-hanging branch was my target. With my “Daisy Red Rider” B-B gun and all the skill a seven-year-old can muster, I took steady aim and squeezed the trigger. And just like that, it was over! Or was it?

As I admired my trophy on the ground, I was surprised by my dad’s voice. “Now what?” he said. He went on to say that God had put these creatures here for us and that even though we had charge over them didn’t mean that we should abuse that dominion. 


My dad didn’t scold me for what I did but just asked what I would do next. He then assisted me in preparing what would become a tiny portion of the suppertime meal. Sparrow never tasted so bad. 


My aggressive encounter with a tiny bird taught me a lot about valuable things and my own value as a solitary human.


The sparrow is a well-known little bird. It has been the object and icon of countless cultural, spiritual, and mythological associations spanning geography and time.


In both China and Indonesia, sparrows are seen as a symbol of happiness and good news. The Chinese claim that a sparrow flying into a house indicates that good luck is on the way. In Indonesia, it is believed by some that if a sparrow flies into a home, a member of the household will soon marry or give birth. 


Some superstitions have it that sparrows carry the souls of the dead. This belief resembles the ancient Egyptian view of sparrows and that of traditional sailors, some of whom would get sparrow tattoos in hopes that the birds would catch and carry their souls should they die at sea. Therefore, it is bad luck to kill them. 


Perhaps we could accumulate some truth from the fiction of Jack Sparrow in the movie series Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack’s sparrow tattoo points to the counterculture of freedom, expression, and self-determination respected by those who choose to live outside of the bounds of structured society.


You don’t have to be Jack Sparrow, have a tattoo or even be a pirate to be considered valuable. Just be you! 


Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a [a]copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)


There is nothing in this world that is insignificant! God’s concern for His creation is not just “for the birds”! Even the hairs on your head are valuable to Him. The idea of growing some self-respect might ruffle your feathers, but it might be a good time to start living up to what He thinks about you.