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;
Civilla Martin describes writing this old gospel song when visiting friends in 1905:
‘Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheelchair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them.
One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s response was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’
A simple but profound inspiration.
I’m reminded of the acronym ‘KISS’ – ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. I’ve been told that I over-think things, I make things more complicated that they are. Sometimes I need to keep it simple.
For some of us life is complicated. There are complicated health issues, family relationships or financial problems. We have complicated mental health issues where abuse, bereavement or trauma have led to depression, addiction or acute stress. The particular challenges of lockdown have made life more complicated for many….
Civilla Martin’s simple song, that speaks of God’s presence and care, cuts through the complexities and troubles of life. Jesus words were clear:
‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies. Yet not one of them is forgotten by God… Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’
The secret of the Doolittles, the inspiration for Civilla Martin, the simple but profound reassurance for me. KISS.
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.