Civilla Martin wrote the lyrics in 1905, and the hymn, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, has been sung in every church since. She wrote the song because of two people she called “saints of God.” Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for almost twenty years, and her husband went to and from his business in a wheelchair. Civilla said, “They brought inspiration and comfort to all who knew them.” She asked them how they could be joyful in their circumstances, and they quoted Matthew 10:29–31:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
That hymn came to my mind this morning as I sat next to a baby monitor. I watched my grandson sleeping in the crib on one screen while watching Hurricane Irma rage on the television. I prayed for the babies in the shelters and the moms and dads watching them. Then I threw a prayer in for the crowds of people who were camped out in those shelters with the babies, dogs, cats, and sulking teens. All of them will be so glad to get outside again and start cleaning up. Everyday life is taken for granted until everyday life is disrupted by a storm. The storms make us appreciate the normal things of life in a new way. I watched Wesley on the baby monitor while listening to reports about the hurricane damage and thought about the fact that God’s eye is on all of us, whatever our circumstance.
I kept that baby monitor close and plugged in the whole time my grandson was with me. What I would have given to have one of these things thirty years ago! As I am typing these words, Wesley is playing with his feet and enjoying the fact a new day has begun. The little sounds from the monitor are happy and content, but they won’t stay that way. Soon, he will be ready to eat, and I will have his bottle ready. I am watching him and want nothing more than for him to feel safe and happy.
I like to think of God watching us the way I am watching Wesley now. God knows where I am, but most importantly, he knows where I am going. And God is getting things ready for me to arrive. Jesus wanted all of us to understand God’s great love when he told his disciples, “The very hairs on your heads are numbered.” We are worth more than we can even imagine. As much as I love that little guy upstairs, God loves him even more. And God is watching us both.
As I glance at the monitor, Wesley is sitting up now and smiling in the crib. I’m not sure what those baby sounds mean, but I’m pretty sure it is something like, “Okay, Grandma, time to come get me!” It’s funny how life moves forward. That is my baby’s baby upstairs! God is so good. He is growing all of us up and getting us ready for a life eternal. As glad as I am to have that video monitor, I’m even more glad that God doesn’t need one!
The Creator of the world is keeping his eye on us, whether we are safe in our homes or going through a storm. In a moment, I will head upstairs, open the door, and Wesley will greet me with a huge grin. I like to picture my arrival in heaven like that. Imagine seeing the face of Jesus, smiling at us as we walk into glory! I wonder what things he will have prepared for us ahead of time. But, for now, let’s remember and enjoy the words of that great hymn:
“When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is he.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”
Whatever your circumstances are today, God has his eye on you. He is excited to spend this day with you and plans to watch over you. Enjoy the day together. You are greatly loved.