Insignificant Sparrow

Ching’s lovely voice wafted inside the hushed church. As one of our Praise and Worship team leaders, she sometimes sings solo, with lyrics that dovetail with our Pastor’s message to drive home the grace of God’s Word.

That one Sunday, as she rendered “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” I blinked back tears. This hymn never fails to move me.

Growing up, I’d wonder why the adults in our church would wipe their eyes whenever this was sung. But eventually, I’d be wrapped in the same emotions whenever I reflect on the lyrics.

"Sparrow" (or Maya in this country) was how different species of common birds in the Bible were called—they were so numerous they gathered in noisy flocks and built untidy nests in the eaves of houses.

In Jesus’ time, sparrows were cheap. The poor who could not afford to sacrifice a sheep or a goat would bring a sparrow to the temple. So insignificant were the sparrows that they were always on sale—if you bought four or five, the seller would throw in an extra for free. It was this free sparrow which Jesus spoke of, “and not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luke 12:4-7)

If God is concerned about the sparrow, how much greater must His concern be for you and me, more valuable than a mere sparrow! Jesus chose the most common of all birds to assure us: in God's eyes, no one is insignificant.

The story behind the writing of this hymn by Civilla Martin is just as gripping as the lyrics:

In 1905, Civilla and her husband met a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nearly twenty years. Her husband was a cripple and wheelchair bound. Despite their afflictions, however, they lived happy Christian lives, inspiring everyone in their circle.

Civilla asked why they had such a happy disposition; Mrs. Doolittle replied, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

Let’s sing the hymn together and be comforted.

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home

When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

1 comment:

Vie Velasco said...

Thank you,I needed that!