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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, May 24, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home,
when Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is he: 
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.

“Let not your 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.

“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” (vv. 1–2) by Civilla Durfee Martin
Hymn 661, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. . . . So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29–31 NIV)

Are you weary? Tired? Tired of it?

I am. Period.

Since the onset of this crisis, my heart has been heavy; my soul aches. I mourn humans. I miss humans. I fear more mourning, more loss, and more loneliness. This. Is. Hard.

My work requires me to lead others, to convey resilience and hope while serving as an anchor for support and direction. But quietly, in my still moments, when I pray, when I feel a tear, I feel forsaken; I am worried.

Here comes another moment from my mother (if only more people knew Hilda); it would start with that look and then that beautiful weathered but strong outstretched hand: “Are you worried about something? Why? Christians don’t worry.” Today this one does.

But that’s when I reflect on this beautiful gospel song; maybe it’s even an anthem. In my extended family we often make reference to this song; when we’ve faced our most strident challenges, when the horizon was dark, someone would whisper, even better, hum, this song. You know what happens when old folks hum? Everybody smiles. Now, in my evenings, I listen to this hymn and it happens; I start to smile. If the sparrows aren’t falling from the sky; if the pups on their evening walk still find the familiar scents along the way; if Fourth Church is still feeding the homeless; if strangers cheer and ring bells every night at 8:00; if we can find a way to “Zoom” graduate, marry, and, yes, even worship, then why should we be discouraged?

Pause as you read this. Exhale. Think of the simple pleasures in life that have not changed. See Her presence still evident; feel Her embrace. Take refuge in the knowingness of Her watchful eye, not because She is a shield, but because She is a pillow, our safe harbor, our reason to sing, our reason for joy.

Know that She in her omnipotence watches me, you, and indeed, Her eye is on the sparrow.

Prayer
“Oh Lord! You’ve been with me in six troubles. Don’t desert me in the seventh! Amen.” (Harriet Tubman)

Reflection written by Clyde Yancy, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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