Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)
Lucy discovered a baby raccoon lying all alone in the pasture. As she darted and jumped back and forth around it, we thought she cornered a snake. I feared he would bite someone, human or dog as the little thing, not much bigger than the size of my hand with its eyes still tightly closed, snarled and snapped in fear. His teeth seemed threatening, even if he did not. He lay curled up under a big tree. I wondered if he fell out of a nest. He shivered from cold or fear, and I wanted to pick him up and protect him. It was tempting, but I read that raccoons do not make good pets. Then, of course, there was rabies to consider. We left him alone, corralled the dogs into the house and called every wildlife rescue place in the phone book including county animal control. As it was a holiday, no one answered their phones or would come out to get him. In hopes that his mother would rescue him, we gently picked him up with a shovel and set him over the fence. There, protected from the dogs, his momma might find him if she came looking for him. While being transported, he chirped and cried, and I struggled with my decision to leave him alone. Poor little baby. How cruel I was to leave him out in the elements! Such a tiny thing, all cute and furry. His little nose rooted around in the sand and leaves, and his mouth curled up in a pucker trying to suckle. Perhaps I should put him in a box with a towel at least so he could stay warm. But, I managed to stifle my motherly instincts and walk away. When I went back to check on him, he was gone. I do not know if his mother found him or a snake or other predator. I struggle with my role in a crisis. What can I to do to help? What must be left to someone else? I will never know if the raccoon survived, but God does. If the Bible says that He knows when a sparrow falls, then, I know He was watching that little might crying as that Doberman circling him. Some people question where God is in the midst of tragedy. When earthquakes topple school buildings and children die waiting for rescue. When tornados wipe out entire towns. When floodwaters wash away homes and people in their path. Where is God when cancer strikes? When accidents happen? When babies are born too early to be saved? Just as gravity pulls a baby raccoon from his nest to the hard, cold ground, evil and sorrow happen in our world over and over again. And where is God? Right beside us. Weeping along with us. Then, gently taking us into His arms and restoring us to Him. Sometimes, there is nothing I can do, but to pray and trust in God. My hope is in Him.