Insects called the Human Race

English: House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Thi...

English: House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) This image of a female House Sparrow illustrates her paler plumage, large seed cracking beak and bright eye. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And crawling on the planet’s face
Some insects called the human race
Lost in time, and lost in space
And meaning
“Super Heroes” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show [1]

I remember, as a child, looking up at the stars and thinking how very small and insignificant we on earth are compared to the vastness of space. Someone told me once that everyone has a moment like that, it is a stage of development. There is something similar about my feelings of self-worth when I am depressed. I feel so small, so unworthy of others’ attention; just a speck in the stream of life that isn’t worth bothering about. My sadness weighs me down until I feel utterly insignificant, I am worth nothing, I am nothing.

It is in those moments I often feel suicidal. I feel that I am not important enough to live, not worthy enough to struggle any longer, no one will miss me, or even care that I have gone.

The first experience is normal, to realise that there are other people than ourselves, that we are part of a vast population of people in a vast universe of who-knows-what. The trouble is that in depression, we take that realisation and use it to tell ourselves that we are worth nothing, just a tiny cog in a much larger machine that is not important, not useful, will not be missed.

As a Christian, I hold the belief that God values every life. The Bible says that he knows when even a sparrow falls, and that he knows and has numbered every hair on my head. He cares for each and every one of us and not a one is forgotten. That is the key, you see, he does not just know of our existence but actually cares about us and what happens to us. The Bible says that he loves us, that he calls us his friends and his children.

We are not worthy of his attention – not a single person in history save One has ever been worthy of his attention. We have all done nasty things, we have all lied or acted in anger or hurt other people, whether we are well or ill we have all done something wrong. Of course the Bible teaches us that that was the reason that Jesus came among us, to reconcile us to him through his death on the cross.

I don’t intend here to go on and explain all about the Gospel. What I want to say is that you – you sitting here reading this, you are the person Jesus died for. That God himself died for. He did not come to save someone else, he didn’t just add you on as an extra for someone “more worthy” – he came for you. We serve a God who takes an active interest in every one of us, who wants to be our dad.

The Bible also says that we should cast our cares upon him – he cares about how we feel and what is happening in our lives. So not just the odd Sunday or at Christmas! He actually wants to know what is going on with us, including the bad bits. I know I used to find myself censoring what I said to God, thinking that I cannot bore him  with my troubles, cannot be whining at him all the time. I was wrong – because yes, God wants us to praise him and give thanks, but he also wants to hear our problems, and he wants to offer help. That help might not be what we expect – I have not been healed of bipolar although that was my prayer, but I am more able to cope with it and I have learned things, thought more deeply, cared more often about others as a result. As they say, God doesn’t give us what we want but what we need.

This isn’t quite my normal sort of post, but I really feel the need to tell you that God cares about you, that he loves and likes you! We are not insignificant, we are not worthless, we may be sinners, but we are given worth by the love God has for us. He isn’t an impersonal force somewhere who doesn’t care about our lives – he has shown himself to be a God who is intimately concerned with everything about us. So intimately concerned that he couldn’t even let us feel the punishment we deserve.

So, if you are feeling small, and not important, if I can tell you one thing I have learned is that none of us are small and unimportant, we all matter to God. You may not be able to believe that you are worth something to yourself – I have experienced awful thoughts of self harm, suicide, utter worthlessness – then try to hang on to the truth that God cares about you and views you as very important. Too important to die, too important to hurt yourself, too important to be unkind to yourself. It may be hard, but I have found reflecting on Jesus’ words to be helpful. Be kind to yourselves.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

[1] I love Rocky Horror!

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