Hymns, the legacy of those wiser before me, handed down to me, if I just appreciate the words, the significance of their power. Most of us, when we’re a child, teenager, and even a young adult cannot appreciate the lyrics in a hymn. Beautiful and majestic poetry, powerfully illustrated for us to step into, embrace, and make our prayer.
There are only two specific hymns in my life that have qualified as my favorite, not because the others are of any less significance, simply because they are the two that I’ve always gone back to as long as I can remember hearing them. Don’t get me wrong, I loved singing Amazing Grace – and as I’ve grown older appreciate so much more it’s meaning knowing the history of it’s making – along with Come and Dine, How Great Thou Art, Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus, At the Cross, Are You Washed in the Blood, Blessed Assurance, Christ the Solid Rock, Have Thine Own Way, Grace that is Greater than All Our Sin, and so many, many countless others. However, none could compare, resonate in my soul, more so than the words to ‘It is Well’ and ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’.
These two hymns have followed me all my life, as if they are a part of me.
Nothing was sweeter, than when my Pastor, the first Sunday of the New Year, sang ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’.
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 sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
Let not my heart be troubled, His tender word I hear. And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears. Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches 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. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise. When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies. I draw the closer to Him from care He sets me free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. (Martin, Gabriel)
There are few times, yet too, a significant number of times (paradox or contradiction, you decide) that God has, without a shadow of a doubt, made himself known to me. There was the time when I sixteen and He healed my eyes. The time that He chose me for ministry. The time when I was 18 and suicidal and went to the alter and told Him if I was loved at all then to show me and for 45 minutes I stood at an alter in His embrace, what was literal to me. There was the time that I had to make a 10-hour-drive back home but was too sick from drinking the night before, stopping every 10 minutes on the interstate to hurl and I said ‘dear Lord, with all my heart, these are not mere words, I promise you, if I could just feel better I will never drink again and within 15-minutes it’s as if I were never sick. There was the time, 20-years-later, that He used my pastor – a man that did not know my history or my story – to remind me that my calling into ministry was no mistake. Or the time when I was tired of being a closet smoker and wanted to stop but couldn’t so I prayed for Him to send me someone to trust me with a secret so huge to them that I would know I had to share mine and I would never smoke again, and He did.
There is that moment when I was listening to my pastor speak to the congregation about being good stewards of our talents and as I listened, there were lots of notes I made, but in particular three specific things stood out to me: (in the order they were spoken)
1) Poverty and wealth tend to make their homes in particular homes and cultures
2) The amount of money we make has nothing to do with the favor we have from God.
3) The money under our control is not ours, only ours to manage and multiply.
And this is what I heard:
1) It is up to me to change my home and my culture. Because I grew up in poverty does not mean I have to continue to live in poverty. Because I am a single mother, full time college student, and no ‘real’ job, does not mean I have to live in poverty. It is not only up to me to change, it is expected of me.
2) When people pray favor on my life for the last few years, it has always been in reference to financial matters. I believed that because I was in poverty I did not walk in His favor. No more lies, I am a child of the Most High and may He find favor with me because of my faithfulness and obedience to Him. Side note; educate those that pray God’s favor for one’s life.
3) I am merely an accountant, an Accounts Payable Representative. If I spend a penny of the money I oversee without the permission from the One in whom it belongs then I am stealing and nothing more than a thief.
I vow to change my home and my culture, to walk in faith believing that God favor’s me, and to never spend one cent of the money that comes into my hands, my purse, my bank account without the permission of the One in whom it belongs.
That is your opinion. I am here writing this now not having a drink in years, not having a cigarette in a year having stopped cold turkey.
I live for extreme!
I AM THE HEAD AND NOT THE TAIL AND I KNOW HE WATCHES ME!
I chose this video, not because I didn’t like CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, or any other artist, I chose it simply because of one line that this 12-year-old adds…
“I may be a child but I know… “ that and the butterfly in the back – ‘change’ is felt through generations – changing my culture and my home begins with me and may it have a ripple effect for generations to come!