Swallows and Sparrows


I meant to post this sketch a while ago, and was reminded of it today by David Mitchel’s poem, Vision and the little things. The sketch was inspired by a retreat meditation on Psalm 84. “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young — a place near your altar. “But of course the little sparrows also remind me of Jesus’ reassurance in Matthew 10: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

The swallows are barn swallows, one of my favorite birds to watch at the Boston Nature Center. And the sparrows are house sparrows. These are the sweet little birds that hop around under your picnic bench at every park you’ve ever been to. Turns out they are not native to North America — The entire North American population of the house sparrow is descended from a few birds released in New York City’s Central Park in 1850!


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