Entry from my Journal.

August 25, 2014

For several days last week I kept repeating the words “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

This morning when I opened the back door I saw a little white feather tucked under the door mat. I picked it up and wondered, is a feather from a sparrow? I brought the feather in the house and placed it by my candles.

Later in the morning on my bike ride I kept noticing little white feathers along the trail. Most were in the grass and not directly in front of me. I said coincidence, I am noticing feathers because of the words I received last week. I made a note to self, don’t pick up anymore feathers, unless it comes directly in front of you.

This afternoon while selecting a new plastic flower arrangement for my grandparents’ gravesite, I was picking up several colors and couldn’t decide if I should chose the pink roses or the fall leaf arrangements. While holding two little bouquet of roses, I reluctantly picked up one of the fall leave arrangements. In the plastic splendor of orange and yellow colors I saw something white. And there stuck to the price tag was a little white feather.

I purchased the pink roses and the fall leaves with the white feather. Coincidence or not, I knew what choice I had to make. I placed the plastic flower arrangement with the white feather on my grandparents’ grave.

I couldn’t get the words “his eye is on the sparrow” out of my thoughts. So I Googled the words and found them to be the name of a Gospel song written by Civilla Martin in 1905.

This is what my Google search revealed on Wikipedia:

The theme of the song is inspired by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26) and “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29–31).

(Luke) Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.

Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, said this about her inspiration to write the song based in the scriptures outlined above,

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 Doolittle’s, 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


I am not sure why I had the words “his eye is on the sparrow” on my mind for all those days, I don’t recall singing that hymn. But I am glad the words prompted me to look online and find this lovely story. Reading the story of Civilla Martin gave me some comfort and I truly believe the Lord works in mysterious ways.


copyright Sheila Ethier 2015