When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
Psalm 94:19 NIV
The morning started as usual, my children went to school, and I took the train from Ostia, where I lived, to Rome. I had to change trains twice before arriving at my office at the Italian Adventist Union where I work. So, I got off at the Magliana station to wait for the next train. The Magliana station and the next four stops are above ground, only afterward does the subway descend under the Italian capital.
I was immersed in my thoughts when suddenly I heard a thud and I saw a sparrow falling next to my feet. It was a young bird, perhaps on its first flight. He was flying with his parents when he got hit by the train incoming from the opposite direction and fell heavily to the ground. For a moment I was stunned. Then I bent down and picked him up. He was panting heavily, and his head lolled.
"He's got his neck broken, he won't live until tonight," said a young man behind me. Sadly, I gently stroked the bird's chest. He lay still in my hand, with which I cupped his soft, feathery body. I wanted to make him feel that someone cared for him.
Maybe the warmth of my hand helped the little bird. Slowly, the sparrow began to breathe more calmly with a regular rhythm, and even his heart was no longer beating so madly. He raised his head and began to move it. His neck was not broken! His little eyes, half-closed at first, had become lively again. He was better. I took the bird to a subway attendant to put it back in his nest.
As I traveled to my office, I reflected. In our life, we have painful experiences from time to time. Things happen: a sorrow, an illness, a loss, the choices of our children - and you can add anything you want to the list. They are like a punch in the stomach of our peaceful existence, a very strong blow while we are flying, and then we fall on the ground, stunned.
But we are not alone. We know that God is there, next to us. He takes us in His hands to make us feel His love. He caresses us lovingly, suffering together with us. And it is thanks to the warmth of His hands that we can recover; it is thanks to the consolation of His Word that we find the answers to our questions; it is thanks to the power of prayer that we can start all over again. We are never left to face life alone. The Lord is always with us! He accompanies us on our life's path, and in His embrace, we find healing and salvation.