Saturday, June 20, 2015

He Watches Over Me

There are no coincidences in life.  At least, that's what I believe.

I got a very clear sign from Heaven this past week.  I haven't figured out what it is in regards to yet, but it was a "post-it note" that floated down from Above.

My back deck hosts what most back decks do - a grill.  This old black Weber grill is probably as old as I am.  There are holes at the bottom to which I have to strategically place the coals so they do not fall through, and the ash sifter no longer works.  But, it can still cook a mean steak.

I keep my charcoal next to that old grill, but up against the house.  It was a "let's grill" night one night last week.  Easy dinner, no mess.  As we went to lift the charcoal bag to pour charcoals into the bottom of the grill, two birds flew out and scared us out of our pants!  After collecting ourselves from the fluster and picking up the dropped bag, we peered inside only to find a bird's nest had been built!  What great joy!  But why build a bird's nest for your babies in a bag of charcoal??

I would carefully check inside the bag every so often to see if any babies were in there, and occasionally the momma bird would fly out due to the disruption of her home, but none could be found.  "Okay," I thought to myself, "maybe she just wants a place to live."  But why a bag of charcoal??

Soon I heard a few "tweets" coming from the charcoal bag!  Oh, I was so excited!  Where had they been?  There were no sign of eggs in the bag, and our only deduction is that the momma bird had covered them with nesting material.  I made sure that the momma was not inside before taking a look, and once looking inside, I only saw one baby bird.  It had a few feathers on it and cute little yellow beak, but it did not move.  The thought that it might have died because it was smothered by charcoal was compounding on me.  Why would God allow a baby bird to be born in a bag of charcoal only to die?

I let a day or two pass before I peered inside again, and this time, there were four baby birds, and all of them were moving and breathing!  They literally looked like little chicken wings since their feathers were still growing on them!  I was so happy to watch them and take wonder as to what their life in a charcoal bag must be like.

Taken from my phone:

My mind immediately thought of the song "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" once we narrowed down what type of baby birds these were.  And it hit me with an overwhelming sense of peace.  "This has to be a sign," I said.  Not only were these baby sparrows born on our deck, but they were born in a charcoal bag where I could easily peer inside and watch them.  I marvel at them.  

I am happy.

I am free.

Jesus is my portion.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

If you've never heard of the hymn, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow," I encourage you to listen to Lauryn Hill's beautiful version of it and follow the lyrics listed below.  It was was written in 1905 by a woman by the name of Civilla Martin. She said this about her inspiration to write the song based in the scriptures outlined above (taken from Wikipedia):

Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for almost 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 reply was simple: "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" was the outcome of that experience.
—Civilla Martin

How very beautiful.  And how very apropos.

Yes, indeed I have a very happy life because His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me.  And to know that Jesus cares more about me than those baby birds in the charcoal bag?!  Mind-blowing.

So why a charcoal bag??  The correlation cannot be dismissed as to how these baby sparrows were born and how Jesus came to earth - born in a dirty, dark, and damp stable only to eventually die on a cross a painful, merciless death, and ascend into Heaven so that we may join Him if we, too, believe these basic truths.

"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 10:32-33

These baby sparrows remind me that, indeed, Jesus is watching over me.  I don't yet have a clear answer on what my next life mission is, but knowing He cares so much for me lifts that weight of worry off of my shoulders.  I don't need to know the answer.  I just need to "rest in the nest" and be okay with the "charcoal" for the time being.

No matter how many trials, pain, or breaks I go through, His eye is on the sparrow.  And I know He watches me.

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
(feat. Tanya Blount)
[Tanya Blount:]
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

[Lauryn Hill:]
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow

And I know he watches
[Tanya:] He watches me
[Lauryn:] His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches
[Tanya:] I know he watches
[Lauryn:] I know he watches me

[Lauryn & Tanya:]
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow

[Lauryn:] And I know he watches me
[Tanya:] He watches me
[L&T:] His eye is on the sparrow
[Tanya:] And I know he watches me
[Lauryn:] He watches me
[Tanya:] He watches me, I never thought...
[L&T:] He watches me

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