Why should the shadows fall?
Why should my heart be lonely?
And all for heaven and whole.
When Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He,
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.
Civila D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel 1905
These are the words of the song that has been with me for so many years. When I was a kid, we used to play these conversation games. I find that they are very helpful in developing and expressing yourself. One of the questions was, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" There are many versions of this. I have always thought that if there was some sorcerer who would change us all into our spirit animals, I would turn into some kind of cat. Since I was a kid I always thought that there was a little feline in me but it's all said in fun. I am currently something much better... a human.
That being said, I never thought much about being a bird. Whenever anyone would offer up a bird as an adequate animal, I never saw the value of it. The bigger cats are cunning, hunters, and beautiful in their ferocity. The smaller cats are graceful, discerning and fearless, regardless of size. How would I not be a cat?! A bird!!! A bird can fly but is vulnerable. Where do birds even lie on the food chain? A bird? Me? No!!!
The first time I heard this song was at my mother's memorial. My mother was a popular well-loved woman. She had a wake, a memorial, a burial. She was well-remembered to say the least. At the memorial, I heard this song sung by my cousin, Debbie. I was not in the space to hear the words but it haunted me. I heard it again much later. I was watching some show. I really can't remember what it was now but this young boy came out and sang this song and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
This song starts off with a question, but it is really more of a challenge. Why should I be discouraged? Well, I'm not always discouraged but the premise is why should I be discouraged... EVER!!! Why should I allow myself to wallow in the shadows that fall? Should I even think of being lonely when I have all of heaven and God Himself with me? Have I forgotten? Have I lost track of the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Creator of the Universe? I have to keep my life in perspective.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And now one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
In other words, "What am I discouraged by? What do I have to fear? God's got this and He is watching me and my life."
Then I started looking at sparrows. I have noticed that when I see dead birds in the street, I see more pigeons than sparrows but pigeons are bigger. Sparrows are so small. When crumbs are scattered, sparrows get a raw deal. It's the pigeons that are there pecking and clawing at the crumbs. But those sparrows get chunky though... I want to believe that somehow, they are provided for. These days I know that I would turn into a chunky brown sparrow. I already have the chunky and the brown part. I would be small and vulnerable but even then I will not worry because God is in control and I know that His Great and Merciful eyes is on this sparrow and He is watching me.
Photo Credit: Adam Muise