Yes, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” But…

Coming out of our basement laundry room last week, a baby sparrow sped by me, running in fear with his wing dragging on the pavement. “Poor thing!”, I thought, but as I climbed the stairs my heart recited that song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and, I wondered, as “He watches over me”, what does the Lord want me to do about this sparrow apparently in His view?

I plopped down my laundry and realized, I could not leave that injured bird there, unable to fly, amid possible rat attacks and other terrors. I contacted the Wild Bird Fund downtown, known for their devoted care for injured birds of all kinds. “Try and catch him and bring him to us!” Ok, I thought, how hard can that be?

I returned to the trash area where my super was putzing around. “Hey,” I said with gloved hands, “I’m just looking for a little injured bird…” He immediately engaged in this search and within seconds we were chasing the poor thing in and out of every corner and cranny. “Got him!” I announced with delight. I had never held a bird and he was precious!

Time for me to scurry down to the Wild Bird Fund!

I contacted them in a day, two days…surely the baby bird would soon fly to Central Park! Finally, this week, I received the report…

I am very sorry to tell you that the house sparrow you brought to us was too injured to recover. The main problem was to do with his wing, as you suspected; his left radius and ulna were nearly severed, his humerus was very swollen, and his right elbow was fractured. While we can treat some wing injuries, these ones were not survivable. Fractures in birds that are close to the joint, such as the elbow, do not heal well. As the bone calluses, it fuses the bone and the joint together, leading to permanent paralysis, so that the bird is unable to move his wing. This means he could never fly again, and in turn could never return to the wild. Because his prognosis was extremely poor, we made the decision to humanely euthanize him and prevent further suffering.
I know this is not the outcome you were hoping for, but please know that by bringing him to us, you saved him from a great deal of future distress and discomfort. In cases like this, the kindest and most humane thing we can do is allow the bird to pass in peace and without pain.” 

What? That tiny bird had all that?

You’re right, Care Team, that was not the outcome I was hoping for! Lord, Your eye was upon him, You put this baby in my hand and…why?

I thought of the greater ‘whys’ charged up to heaven, filled with grief from untimely death and loss. Brethren who seem to be at the peak of their ministry, raising their family, a joy to parents…dreams crushed. My brother’s death was such a loss, leading me to question and challenge God. One of our beloved pastors often tells of the grievous late night knock, “We’re sorry to inform you…there was an accident…” Burying their only daughter, he cried out, “Why!”

God is not fragile. He can take our anguish and anger – the honest cry from His children and, moreover, He will answer that cry.

I couldn’t possibly see the sparrow’s pervasive injuries uncovered by diligent diagnostic care and medical equipment. Neither can I see into the spiritual realm of God’s view and providence. He is undoubtedly sovereign and certainly owns us, we belong to Him. Then why untimely death of His beloveds? Why, when the ‘outcome is not what we hoped for’ but what we actually dreaded most?

At 38 yrs old, a husband and a father to two toddlers, my brother Paul was at the peak of his faith. He bravely suffered through harrowing medical treatments and admitted towards the end, “I have no regrets. Having cancer brought me closer to the Lord in so many ways – I would not have known Him so deeply without it.” Paul’s faith was a testimony to doctors and patients in oncology – and to us as well.

“I know full well that my life is in the hands of the Lord. He has the keys to the car, and I am going along for His ride…” Paul Stepanian

Pastor Ben Crandall shared similarly from the pulpit, “At 25, my daughter was full of faith, had her whole life ahead of her. I cried out over her grave, why, why did You take her from us!” The pastor shared what he later received from the Lord, ‘I saw her spiritual future and took her before she fell’.

Long ago I jotted this quote in my Bible,

“The believer’s life on earth is his only arena for change and fruitfulness…the nature of eternity is changeless. Therefore, the time to become like Jesus, being conformed to His likeness, is during this earthly Christian experience of trial and faith.” “You and I will never be any closer to Christ, throughout eternity, than we are when He comes. That’s the point of Judgment.” (Dr. Lovett)

The nature of eternity is changeless…” We see untimely death as missing 30, 40 or 50 years of life – God sees our lives entering into eternity in the likeness His Son – enjoying His close presence forever.

God does not spell out everything like the Wild Bird Fund. But our faith need be strong enough to stand upon His word and His sovereignty and trust Him when ‘the outcome is not what we hoped for’. Those devoted to my little sparrow assured –

I know this is not the outcome you were hoping for, but please know that by bringing him to us, you saved him from a great deal of future distress and discomfort

Doctors determine outcomes through X-rays, CAT scans and tests. God sees through everything, and into eternity.

His eye was on the sparrow. But more than ‘His eye’ is upon us – His life is within us and He orders our steps as a sovereign Father in heaven. Whether our ‘wing is broken’ or our heart is broken or ‘the outcome is not what we hoped for’, we can trust the Lord to walk us through, and with a view of eternity.

40 thoughts on “Yes, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” But…

  1. Thank you for this post Lisa Beth. Edifying words to meditate upon. I didn’t know about Ben Crandall’s daughter. He’s was one of my favorite preachers in TSC. He always had a word of comfort and encouragement in his sermons. Blessings…

    • Thank you Cathy, it’s always good to hear from you. Pastor Ben is a beloved man of God, we love him but haven’t seen him in quite some time. His daughter was killed in a car accident, a tragedy he spoke about several times over the years to encourage others during loss and grief.
      Thank you again sister. ⚘

  2. Thank you very much for being a true representative of the mighty one ,you have not only helped that little sparrow but your message will certainly help us to be generous like our Heavenly Father.Take care.🌹😊🙏

  3. Lisa Beth, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” is my favorite hymn. I have been through many trials in this life and many have been the times I have asked Him “why.” Right now I am going through a deep valley but know He is watching me. I am asking Him for strength knowing that the testing of my faith produces patience and whatever I go through, it doesn’t change who He is. He has always been with me, not letting me succumb to an eternity without Him. Thank you precious sister for your words of wisdom.

    • Eve, I always appreciate your encouraging and inspiring comments. He is watching you sister, and is standing on the other side of that valley.
      I pray that His presence becomes more real and His words flow from scripture to your heart.

  4. Dear Lisa Beth, what a wonderful post this is! It moved me to tears. I’m proud to display it on my blog: it would be good for all of us to read this.
    Nothing hurts us more than the loss of a loved one–pets included. Nothing tries our faith so hard as that.
    Thank you so much for this beautiful and comforting meditation.

    • Thank you dear Mandy! That’s how I replied to the folks at the Wild Bird Fund, thanking them for exceptional care of God’s creatures! I thank God for that sparrow – he delivered a message to my heart.
      Have a good weekend! 🌹

  5. It’s good to know that even in what is so often a selfish, uncaring world, there are people who would devote their time and skills to caring for helpless creatures like your little feathered friend. I agree, the little guy was probably spared a lot more stress and suffering by having big, gentle hands holding him when his life came to a close,

  6. This touches my heart so deeply. Wow. Thank You, God.

    A few days ago, someone commenting on a mutual friend’s blog asked me how I had acquired the nickname ‘Lady Quixote.’ I feel now that the Lord wants me to copy and paste my reply regarding my nickname here, because it fits this post perfectly. I’m hoping that someone will read my comment and be encouraged. So, here goes:

    It’s funny, I have been calling myself Lady Quixote since June 2011, just over ten years ago. You are the first person to ask me how I acquired that name.

    It’s a long story. A hard story. But I do want to answer your question, so here goes. A tragedy happened in my family on June 3, 2011. My very precious, much younger cousin, my only blood relative living here in New Mexico, drowned that day. At the same moment that Elaine drowned, I was writing a long loving email to her, full of plans for her upcoming birthday. The night before, we had talked on the phone for over an hour. We had talked on the phone several times that week. I was trying to help her, trying to be an emotional support for her, because she was going through a very hard time in her life. My husband and I were praying for her every single day. We had invited her to come and stay with us for as long as she needed. She was thinking about it.

    And then we got the call that she had drowned.

    Oh my God. It’s been over ten years and it still hurts my heart so bad.

    My grief, my pain, was overwhelming. I screamed. I raged. God, why? She can’t be gone. She’s only 38 years old! God, we were praying for her. Day and night we prayed, asking You to help her. WHY???

    I started writing down my pain, writing my grief, writing my whys, and writing my unanswered questions. In one of my grief poems, as I realized that being angry at God for not answering our prayers the way we wanted Him to, made about as much sense as Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Who was I to argue with Almighty God? So in my grief poem I wrote that I am nothing but dust in the wind and a Lady Quixote, tilting at windmills.

    My cousin’s untimely death plunged me into the deepest, longest depression of my life. My husband took me to doctors. Antidepressants and talk therapy did not help. For two years, I barely functioned.

    Then — exactly two years and two days after my cousin’s death, a big dust storm blew into town. I was outside with our dog, Lady. I saw the solid looking wall of dust coming and quickly got her and me inside. After about an hour of the dust storm sand blasting our house, the storm finally stopped. Then I went outside the front door to get our mail.

    Lying on the ground right next to the single front step was a gleaming silver tag, the size and shape of a dog tag. It had a hole in one end, for hanging on a chain. I picked up the tag, turned it over, and was shocked to see that it was engraved with the words to a poem that my precious cousin had attached to every single one of her emails, for many years. On all of her emails was the poem: Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, work like you don’t need the money, live like it’s heaven on earth.

    What are the odds that exactly two years and two days after my precious cousin drowned, a dog tag engraved with the poem she automatically attached to every email would blow up against our front step during a massive dust storm?

    I knew then that God was telling me my cousin is in heaven with Him, that I will be reunited with her forever one day, and until then, I needed to stop grieving and fully live my life. Live like it’s heaven on earth. So that’s what I did.

    But there is still a small part of me that wants to tilt at windmills. So I am: Lady Quixote. 🙂

    • Lady Quixote! Many thanks for sharing this moving, godly testimony. I hope that every reader will see it and go to your site as well.
      I know the place of pain where no one can reach it and counselors are useless.
      Thats when God Himself wants to get the glory for healing and speaking into our life. Searing grief and God in a dust storm! Wow sister, thank you again for this memorable story of God’s faithfulness. ❤

      • God’s grace is so amazing! I am no one special at all, that the Lord would do such a miraculous thing to comfort me and bring me out of that intractable depression. On the contrary, I am one of the least deserving, from a human perspective. Only my faith in Christ qualifies me for anything good. But God’s love, His mercy, and His grace, are truly amazing. Praise the Lord Jesus!

    • Thanks for sharing this, Linda. God knows just what our hearts need to heal. What a gift he gave you with that tag. I’ve tried to reach out to you by email but can’t find an address on your blog.
      PS. I’ve always wondered the story behind your other name, too. Now I know. 🙂

      • Dear Mary, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m all teary-eyed right now. God bless you!

        I have tried to add a contact page to my blog but keep running into difficulties with that. I need to ask one of my grandchildren to help me, lol. My email address is:
        ladyquixote@live.com

  7. Lisa, I cried while reading this. Thank you for being obedient to share it. It answers so many of of the why questions. I bet it even healed some parts of your own heart as God used that little sparrow to teach us all a lesson. Thank you for taking the time to care for the little bird or we wouldn’t have gotten this insight.

    • Mary, hearing from you is always a cup of cool water! Yes, the Lord sent this precious sparrow to me and touched my heart. God does personally intervene into our lives – I’m so grateful for that and for beloved sisters like you! ❤

  8. Oh Lisa, this brought tears to my eyes. Poor little sparrow. I’m sorry he couldn’t be saved. I’m especially sorry you lost your brother. I find encouragement in your reminder that God is not fragile and can handle our anger and anguish. I’m so grateful we have Him to carry us through. Love and blessings to you!

Leave a Reply to Trudy Den Hoed Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s