PRAYER FOR THE DAY Saturday 16th June
Good morning. I have to confess, I’m not a twitcher – by which I mean I am not a person who travels the country in search of rare birds visiting these shores to record the moment. That said, I was quietly moved recently to read of the sad end of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow. I learned of this because of a visit last Halloween to Merritt Island in Florida, where my wife and I enjoyed some late season sunshine ahead of the cold winter to come. While there we visited the remarkable Kennedy Space Centre which is close by, and learned of the amazing story of space flight over the last half century. In one of those unintended consequences, NASA flooded the marshland of Merritt Island in order to reduce the mosquito population but in doing so destroyed the habitat of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow. Then a highway was built across the marshes, and 31 years ago this weekend, the last individual Sparrow died and the species was declared extinct.
Space travel, including the Apollo moon landings and the construction of the international space station have been amazing human achievements – and set alongside these mighty advances, the fate of a little sparrow may pass us by. But part of me wonders about this. Jesus not only said that we are worth more than many sparrows – he also said that “not one sparrow falls to the ground outside the father’s care”. So by remembering the demise of the Dusky Seaside Sparrow of Merritt Island with sadness and regret today, perhaps we ought to season our achievements and genius with a sprinkling of humility and perspective.
Lord, thank you for the created world, and every creature in it. May I be its guardian and champion today. Amen.