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sparrows"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God....Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6, 7)

A radio news item reported the theft of a fleet of two hundred racing pigeons. The owner estimated the loss at $75,000. Noting the apparent increase in the value of birds since Biblical times, I took comfort again in the words of Jesus about our worth in the sight of God.

Like sparrows, we sometimes feel helpless in the face of difficult circumstances. As birds are pushed or pulled by the wind's currents, we too endure forces and events we cannot control.

I stood near a young couple during an early Christmas shopping rush. Arms loaded with packages and bags, they were clearly exhausted. The woman held up a pewter mug with a ship and some scrollwork designed into it, saying, her voice full of the weariness that only such shopping can produce, "You need something for your dad. Maybe you can give him this."

The man reached for the price tag, then turned away with a scowl. "He's not worth that much," he muttered.

I stared at this couple for a few moments longer than I should have. What had the father done so to spoil his son's regard for him? What price would have been right? Perhaps the young man himself did not feel valued by his dad and so was unwilling to confer value in return. How much difference would it have made if he had recognized his own worth - as well as his father's-in the sight of God?

We are known. We are loved. We are treasured by our Creator. So also are our dads and our daughters, our customers and our colleagues, our sisters and our spouses. God cares profoundly for sparrows and racing pigeons, and each of us is worth more than many of them.

We do well to regard one another - and ourselves - in that light.

Dr. Michael A. Halleen