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.
I've always had trouble with the idea that God is taking care of all of us, down to the smallest of us. Sparrows freeze to death, get hunted for sport by well-fed housecats, get hit by cars. Surely if each individual sparrow mattered, they wouldn't be prone to senseless deaths. Never mind the meaningless suffering of people around the world from poverty, hunger, war, etc. Why doesn't God care enough to stop suffering?
But the verses that it is based on, Matthew 10:29-31, don't say that the sparrow will come to no harm. It says that if the sparrow comes to harm, it is through the Father. Not only did God know about that dead bird on the sidewalk in front of Moody's Falafel Palace, he let it die. That seems even more callus than not knowing/caring about the fate of the sparrow.
The important lesson for me isn't around the symbolism of the dead bird. It's all about I value judgment I made a couple paragraphs back. I decided that the sparrow's death was senseless or meaningless. And I don't get to decide things like that. Just a few verses earlier in Matthew 10 we are told that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed" or "hid that shall not be known". We are reminded not to fear anyone other than the Lord. If something bad happens, God knows why.
If we are suffering and we can find no reason why He should let us suffer, we should not curse Him, nor doubt Him. He's got a plan. He's keeping an eye on us and it'll all make sense later. I can get so caught up in myself and my sense of what is fair that I forget that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Corinthians 1:25).
I'm feeling pretty weak and foolish right now, so it's comforting to know that He's got His eye on me and that I don't need to understand anything else right now.