Sunday, January 10, 2010

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

I heard the story of this hymn on my Christian radio station this morning. It meant more because my mother grew up in a neighboring village to Elmira, New York where the words were written. I found this recounting of the story at

"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

After unsuccessfully trying to find a tune that would suit, her husband Dr. Walter Martin sent the lyrics to Mr. Charles Gabriel who quickly set them to music and the hymn was first used in a revival in England and first played in the Royal Albert Music Hall. It fast became a popular tune and was used in many revivals. American blues and jazz vocalist and actress Ethel Waters used it as the title of her biography after she heard the song on a radio broadcast of a revival where it was sung by old time gospel musician George Beverly Shea.


Why should I feel 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.

“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.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
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.

Words by Mrs. Civilla Martin
Music by Charles Gabriel


Praying that you will remember how much you are loved and how much thought the Lord puts into every detail of your life. May you be blessed today!


Miss Jen said...

Beautiful post~
That is one of my favorite
hymns... we often sing at Church!

Many Blessings~ Miss Jen

Anonymous said...

I have so enjoyed your blog! I just finished watching Under the Greenwood Tree on U tube. I loved it!! I was wondering if you have a list of movies that can be watched on You Tube. We don't have cable or satelite and live in a little town with no movie rental - actually we have one but everytime I want to find a movie like this they do not have- just the current thrillers and action movies. I would so love to find more movies like this that I can watch.
Thank you so very much!


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