I was pondering the life to come as I sat behind the wheel of my parked car outside my youngest daughter’s apartment. I had just driven her home and was waiting for her to bid me leave.
I was pondering the life to come… what would it be like? After my last breath, what would the experience be like? What would it be like to meet my maker and saviour? How ecstatic would it be? The thought (anticipation) is clouded with a measure of uncertainty.
Just then my daughter came running out of the house in panic.
“There’s a bird in my room!” she said.
The bird, a brown eurasian tree sparrow, was flying around in short bursts, and landing all over the place — on the stairs, in a corner beside the dresser, and on the bed! I saw that it couldn’t fly high up to the ceiling, I thought it was just a baby bird learning how to fly.
After a couple of attempts, I finally caught the little creature.
I held the tiny sparrow in the hollow of my hand. I stroked its head softly to somehow try to assure it that I don’t mean it harm. I thought to take it home (couple blocks away) with me and care for it until it was strong enough to fly. I went back to the car, looking at the face of the tiny feathered creature in my hand.
The thought then occured to me: I am this tiny little sparrow, and God is me holding the sparrow in the hollow of my hand. If I clenched my fist tight, it would snuff the life of the hapless bird, instantly. But I wouldn’t do that. I cared for the poor thing.
God could snuff me out, physically and spiritually, in an instant. But he doesn’t. Because God cares for me, infinitely greater than I do for the sparrow.
When I got home, I put the sparrow in a temporary cage — a slotted basket with a removable cover. As I was placing newspaper strips inside for the sparrow’s beddings, it flew out of the basket, and outside our front door. I realized it was really strong enough to fly.
It should feel like that, after your last breath. It should feel like being set free (your soul) to fly out of the house into the open air where you were meant.
Here, in the body, you are kept by the power and grace of God, in the hollow of his hand. There, in the life to come, you will finally be set free from all sin, to live in perfect righteousness and fullness of joys for evermore.
God “has set eternity in our hearts,” Ecc.3.11.