His Eye is on the Sparrow
By Marty Norman –
Most of us are familiar with the words from Matthew 10:21. But if we have ever heard the song by the same name, we are moved by the haunting melody in a new way, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he’s watching me.”I first heard the song two years ago on in church. The singer sang with the voice of an angel, and I was mesmerized by the melody and powerful message of the song:
“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”*
I love the inspiring stories I get over the internet. Recently a friend sent one titled “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” The title alone piqued my interest. After reading and shedding a few tears, I decided to use it as the introduction for a workshop I was doing the next day at Mo Ranch in Central Texas.
The story was a moving tale, set at Starbucks in New York City. In an unexpected encounter, God worked in the life of a woman who had recently lost her 16-year-old daughter to cancer. The story was a great challenge to readers to always be on the alert. For no one knows when God will use each of us as a vessel of his love in the lives of everyday people.
Our head knows that God is always at work and that he wants the best for his children. But our heart is always surprised when his best involves the unexpected. That’s what Mo Ranch was for me – the unexpected.
In the heart of the hill country the wild flowers were magnificent, especially since we have had an extraordinary amount of rain this year. The bluebonnets literally danced as they waved in the breeze to the passing cars on the highway. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that when God decides to show up, anything goes.
My topic was about leaving a legacy to the next generation through the use of individual gifts and talents. But the theme got mixed up in translation, so it was printed as a workshop for writers in the brochure. Realizing that my topic did not match the write up, I decided to adjust midstream. In other words, I had to let go and give it to the Lord.
Using my outline in a loose fashion, I stepped out and watched the Lord as he orchestrated the workshop, touching lives and encouraging hearts. In one of the sessions, someone brought up the topic of how God speaks to people. I shared the story of my friend, Suzanne, who sees cardinals whenever she is praying or seeking the Lord’s council. She believes the cardinal is her sign that the Lord is listening.
Wouldn’t you know it? When the workshop was over, we came face-to-face with a red cardinal feeding at the birdfeeder in front of the workshop door. Metro Goldywn Mayer couldn’t have timed it more perfectly. My sense was that it was God’s sweet sign that, yes, he had been present in that room and, yes, he was listening.
As best I could tell, the Lord used that cardinal as a metaphor to let us know how close he really is, how much he is watching, and how much he cares for each of us.
Not knowing a lot about birds, I got on the internet and did some research. I discovered that sparrows, like people, come in all shapes and forms. In physical appearance sparrows are many colors and can be found almost anywhere.
Isn’t that how we are – all different nationalities, races, and denominations? Yet God has his eye on each of us. If he knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, how much more does he know about us?
I then researched cardinals. A cardinal is one of the most admired species in the bird kingdom. It is so admired that seven states have named it their state birds. And the male is so beautiful, his color is the most vibrant color of red. You can’t miss him when he flies by.
The male cardinal is also consistent. While the female cardinal works at building the nest, the male keeps a close watch over the surrounding territory, scouting out predators and other males. His duty is to feed the female on the nest and protect the territory from intruders. What I like most about the cardinal is that he mates for a season, a year, and sometimes a lifetime. Sounds almost human, doesn’t he?
Isn’t that how the Lord deals with us? Arrayed in his red robe of righteousness, he allows the blood of Christ to cover and protect us as he watches over our nest. Just as the male cardinal, we are never far from his sight.
Yes, we are the Lord’s sparrow; he is the cardinal. The next time you see a cardinal let his presence be a reminder of God’s amazing love. And remember Matthew 10:29-31, “his eye is on the sparrow” for I know he’s watching you.
* “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel.
Marty Norman is a wife, mother, and grandmother of five, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of Generation G – Advice for Savvy Grandmothers Who Will Never Go Gray. You can learn more about her at: www.martynorman.com, http://martynorman.blogspot.com, http://savvygrandmothers.blogspot.com.