A Story Based on Matthew 10:29-33 NIV

(c) Copyright 2004 Rev. Bill Versteeg
(To find the sources of the bird pictures, please double click on the picture itself)

Pine Siskin swooped down to the bird feeder early in the morning. He had to get there before the other birds woke up to take their place. He would be happy with yesterday’s leftovers. He didn’t need that much anyways, after all, he was small, after Ruby the humming bird who wasn’t interested in any seed, he was the smallest. He came to rest right in the bird feeder and started picking at the leftovers - there were lots of leftovers today. Yesterday was a rainy day. Birds just don’t seem that hungry on rainy days. There would be plenty to keep his stomach full, his small brown feathers healthy, his strength to fly. For Pine Siskin, this morning was a good morning.


It wasn’t long before the Junco family came with
their dark eyes and their white and black tuxedos. They loved their dark feathers with their white tuxedo lining. They also came early to get the leftovers - not from the bird feeder but from the ground.


Then came Mrs. Chickadee, back and forth, one seed at a time. She would pick out a delicious morsel, fly to a tree branch, break it open, eat it and then return for more. Pine Siskin sat among the seeds, enjoying his breakfast, thankful for the food that his Father in heaven had provided for him.

For the most part, Pine Siskin went unnoticed by the other birds. Small, just brown in color, if they thought him a bother, they would just chase him away - saying “Get out of here worthless little bird.” And Pine Siskin would fly away and hide, and wait until the bird feeder was clear, and he would have the freedom to eat again.

The music of the forest was starting this Sunday morning. The trees came alive with worship as the warblers sang their distant tunes, as Mrs. Robin joined in the chorus with her hungry babies, and Mrs. Chickadee with her “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee.”


And sure enough, they woke up Mr. Jay who was also taking care of his kids, all of them were hungry for some breakfast. He dove at the bird feeder, landed on the roof with a clatter, looked down and in - and when he saw Pine Siskin he said:
“What are you doing here? This feeder is my territory - get out!” He said it with such authority - in his policeman’s uniform and his police cap turned backwards. He might wear the uniform, but most thought he was one of the biggest bullies of the feeder.

Pine Siskin felt like saying “This is my Father’s territory.” but instead, he kept his mouth shut. As Mr. Jay dropped in, for his own good, he hopped out and waited on a tree branch to see how long Mr. Jay in his blue suit would pig out and scatter the leftovers all over the place. The sun was waking up the world, including the young girl who refilled the bird feeder in the morning. In no time, Mr. Jay was scattering fresh seed all over the place to the delight of the Junco family who were hopping all over the place catching as much as they could, even in their best cloths.

But with new seed in the feeder, Mr. Jay had a problem. There was a crowd just waiting in the trees hungry for all that fresh seed. Mr. Jay could control and chase away a few hungry Grosbeaks with all his policeman authority, but he couldn’t control a crowd. And sure enough, as soon as they noticed the new seed there, these birds with their yellow masks and big beaks descended on the bird feeder. Mr. Jay complained and threatened, but there were too many, he would need to get reinforcements if he wanted to continue his breakfast. He flew off to rally the troops while the Grosbeak family like gluttons filled their stomachs and the air with pointless chatter.

Through all this, Pine Siskin waited. His Father would take care of him, he just knew it. There would be enough left over for him, he just knew it. Even when the Raven came - and the whole crowd of Grosbeaks fled for fear, Pine Siskin knew he would have enough leftovers.

Once in a while, other birds envied Pine Siskin - not because he was small, and plain looking, and by most standards worthless, but because Pine Siskin seemed to have so much peace in his heart. Things just did not bother him very much. He went about his life happy with leftovers, happy with being chased away, happy with waiting. Once a hopping busy eating Grosbeak asked him why he was like that and Pine Siskin said: “My Father will take care of me.”

But the Grosbeak could not see his Father, and so, quickly, before the competition came, he kept on stuffing his mouth full.

That day, the bird feeder was very busy. When the Raven was finished making a mess of everything, all the lesser birds came to clean up. Mr. Jay, unable to rally the troops came back to bully everyone. Pine Siskin watch and waited, and after a while decided to go see if he could glean some food out of the forest. It would be some time before he could go back to the bird feeder.

Pine Siskin flew up and up, looking over the forest to see if there were patches of dry grass or dry flowers where he might find some food. He usually flew between the trees and the branches because it was easy to hide among them, but on this day he flew high, looking for another place to find some food.

He didn’t see it coming. From still much higher, a Osprey saw him, and folded in his wings and dove faster and faster through the bright blue sky. Then just before Pine Siskin noticed, he spread one wing and hit Pine Siskin in the head. For Pine Siskin the world turned black, and he started to tumble and spin as he fell from high up in the sky. The other birds of the forest watched, with a twinge of sadness in their hearts, but it was short lived.  “That’s life” - Mr. Jay thought to himself.  They didn’t see Pine Siskin’s Father watching, falling with the little bird as he fell.

For some strange reason though, the Osprey became disinterested in the little bird he had knocked unconscious. He had started to dive with it, but then he noticed that it was only a worthless Pine Siskin, not enough meat on it to satisfy him for an hour. He choose instead to climb higher and look for better pick'ens. Pine Siskin tumbled and tumbled, into the forest, between the branches and leaves all the way to the ground. Peace and darkness did not leave his mind for a good long time.

When he woke up, he was laying in a soft cushion of forest moss. Everything was quiet, his wings were spread out, he lay there, his face planted right in the moss. At first he wondered if he was still alive - and sure enough, he could move his wings, his feet. He sat there, quietly looking around himself. His Father had taken care of him, sure enough. He had a bad headache, but he was alive. Pine Siskin just knew in his heart that no matter what happened to him, his Father’s eye was upon him, watching everything that happened to him, taking care of him every step of the way. And if one day he did not survive a fall, even then, his Father in heave would take care of him. Because that is who his Father was.

The next day, Pine Siskin was once again at the bird feeder, early in the morning, getting yesterday’s leftovers. Again on this day there was peace in his heart.  The other birds noticed it especially.  They had to admit: he might be small, insignificant, plain, even ugly by comparison, but he sure has someone watching out for him.

Did you know that this story is actually about you. The story is true. Even the small birds, as small as a Pine Siskin have a Father in Heaven who watches over them.  And if God is willing to take such careful watch and care over a little bird like Pine Siskin, don’t you think he will also take careful watch over you?

Let me ask you another question. Who of you has lost a hair today (I don’t want to guess how many I lost today)? Did you notice when you lost it - maybe its hair #472. Did you notice? No. God did. Our Father in heaven watches over you so carefully that he knows even everyone of the hairs that you loose. If he takes that much care even over your hairs - don’t you think he will equally take care of you?

Jesus said
"29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."

(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Back to Sermon Index Page

Back to Story Index Page

Let me know if this message was helpful.