Recently during a walk in Hagley Park I got a chance to make these two pictures of a sparrow gathering little stuff to build a little nest.
When developing the pictures I could not help but thinking about the song “His eye is on the sparrow” which have known since childhood as sung by Mahalia Jackson. I actually never listened to the words until only recently.
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 /
I sing because I’m happy / I sing because I’m free / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches me (He watches me) / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches / I know He watches / I know He watches me
The story behind these beautiful lyrics makes it an even more special song. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics explains (source 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 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 fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.
— Civilla Martin
One of my absolute favorite versions is of this song as sung by Jennifer Holiday.
And of course the Sister Act 2 version is very touching.
And to close off the version knew from childhood the way I knew it from childhood.