Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. —Matthew 10:29-31

A number of years ago, I was reading the paper on a Tuesday morning and noted that two firefighters had died fighting blazes driven by Santa Ana winds in Riverside County. I paused briefly, thinking how regularly such tragedies occur and about loved ones left in their wake. My eye then jumped to the next headline and I was off and reading about some national event.

I barely gave those two men who had given their lives in the line of duty a second thought until my cousin, Laurie, called and informed us that one of them was our cousin, Tom Wall, a fire captain in Tustin. Suddenly, this newspaper headline I had breezed by became terribly pertinent for me. Tom was the son of my father’s brother, Herb, who himself had died out of due season at age 48. Though I hadn’t known Tom well, I had enjoyed getting acquainted with him at a family reunion. Tom and several other cousins were capable musicians and I had greatly enjoyed the blue grass music they shared with the Wall clan.

As I drove to work that day, I cruised by a number of nameless faces. A mother pushing a stroller. Students playing on a school playground. A man running across traffic lanes. Random faces in passing cars. I briefly glanced at each of them, as one scanning the morning paper. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me.

Then it struck me. To our heavenly Father, they were far more than passing headlines, glanced over and quickly forgotten. They were far more than nameless strangers on the street, passed and never to be seen again. No, God knows the number of hairs on their heads. God knows when they sit and when they rise. God perceives their thoughts from afar.  God cares about each of them personally. Each one of these passing strangers is precious in God’s sight.

Two concluding thoughts: First, you are a person who matters deeply to God. Praise God for that! Your life, your concerns, and your joys are not hidden for the Creator of all. Second, those strangers you zip by each day also matter to God. See if you can find some way this week to show one of them that they do.

Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall