My wife smiled as innocently as she could. I searched her eyes to no avail. What was she about to tell me?
“I took them the box our water heater came in.”
As long as it was only that.
“They’re so cute,” she said.
We’ve already adopted two formerly homeless dogs. I just haven’t gotten around to putting up the “No Vacancy” sign yet. I really need to do that. Mainly to remind Laura.
We decided one of the best ways to take care of the puppies was to feed the mother. She’s still a puppy herself but a fierce protector nonetheless. You can’t do so much as look in her direction without her yipping at you. But even she comes around at the promise of food.
Laura took some pictures and sent them to a friend of ours, a local dog lover who said she’d advertise and see if anyone wanted to adopt one.
I assured Laura, again, that we had no more room.
The snow fell shortly after giving them our old water heater box. All seven puppies plus momma fit snugly inside.
And then the most profound thought struck me one evening.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29, ESV).
Now think about that for a minute. The God of all creation—the one who spoke and brought matter into existence, the one from whose mind sprung the idea of life, the one who fashioned each star and stretched out the galaxies and fine tuned the universe and holds together every last atom and hand crafted each strand of DNA that has ever been—that same God sees and—hold your breath now—cares about the life and death of something as small and as insignificant as a sparrow.
And not only does he care, the life and death of every last sparrow that has ever been or ever will be rests completely in his hand.
Now, if that’s true, then surely he sees and cares about those puppies across the road. Surely they rank somewhere above sparrows, the way sparrows must rank somewhere above earthworms.
My train of thought kept chugging.
And if God cares about dogs, then….
There are moments when these old, simple truths scream loud enough to steal the breath right out of you.
“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows [or puppies]” (Matthew 10:31).
If Laura and I are capable of compassion toward dirty, homeless puppies, then how much more is our heavenly Father capable of compassion toward his children, those found and those not found yet? There could be no greater cause for hope. He loves me! O, how he loves me! I’m more valuable to him than birds and dogs! He cares for the birds, yes. He finds them food and clothes the lilies of the field though they last mere days. But he loves me! Like a good Father rapturously loves his child.
So we thank God for puppies and the reminder they afford us. (We ended up finding homes for all seven.) And we keep feeding that momma who still hangs out around our house. Perhaps we’re part of God’s merciful provision for those otherwise hopeless creatures. And we praise the Father who values us more than sparrows. And puppies. He’ll care for us. To the very end. It’s a promise we’re banking our whole lives on.