Sometimes we find life challenging and we get despondent, discouraged, and bitter. The last ten months or so of Coronavirus have not been easy at all! Beyond lockdown and restrictions of our usual free movement, people lost their lives, their jobs, it affected the education and future of our young people, for many front line workers it has been an extremely stressful time, it affected many people mentally too. So it is not surprising to hear complaints and expressions of frustration.
But when I came across the story of the hymn: ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’, I felt God was reprimanding me and us for our complaints. Maybe you will be convicted too!
Civilla Durfee Martin was born in 1869, in Nova Scotia, she became a school and music teacher and married an evangelist, Dr. Walter Martin and joined him on his travels to assist in his meetings. This is her account of the story of the hymn she authored:
“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 nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. 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 imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye is on the parrow’ was the outcome of that experience.”