Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Rain....rain and MORE rain. We've had SO much of it of late. It rained all day yesterday. Today there is more predicted. The morning broke with a blanket of heavy fog. Skies are gray again. Sunshine has become an elusive thing any more.

Yet in the midst of this dismal dawn, God speaks.

The raindrops hang from the lacy Japanese maple like diamond crystals from a chandelier. There is a stillness........a peaceful calm that belies the heavy downfall that has come and gone and yet may come again today, filling ditches and creeks to overflowing, in some cases flooding river banks and wreaking havoc.

And through the stillness of this gray morning comes the sweet song of a little bird....most likely a sparrow...just outside my window. Some birds squeak and squawk. Not this one. Her melody is sweet and she seems to be singing with all her heart. She is not daunted by the gray skies nor the fog that hangs heavily in the air. It was as if she were serenading me with her song.

Sometimes gray skies permeate our life for a season. Storms may come and go but the gray skies seem endless, day after day after day with little or no sunshine. We feel as if the clouds will never break and the sun will never shine again for us.

It is then we must remember that God is Lord of the darkness as much as He is Lord of the sunshine. We must remember that He sings songs over us (Habakkuk 3: 17)....beautiful melodies of love to assure us of His great love for us, His tender mercies that are new every morning.

There is a song that says it best, but before I share that with you, let me tell you about the woman who sang it best....Ethel Waters.

Ethel was born in 1896, the product of a rape. Her mother was 13. She had a violent, impoverished childhood, never living in the same home for more than 15 months. She said of her difficult childhood, "I never was a child. I was never liked, coddled or understood by my family." She married at 13, but soon left her abusive husband and became a maid for $4.75 a week. She went to a costume party at a nightclub on Halloween night in 1913. She sang two songs and was offered a professional job at the Lincoln Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. Thus began her life in entertainment.

She played in black vaudeville, went on the carnival circuit for a brief time, and sang the blues in various nightclubs. In 1919 she began her acting career as a black faced actress in Hello 1919. She would go on to play Broadway, at one time being the highest paid woman on Broadway. She won a Grammy Hall of Fame award, was nominated for the Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Member of the Wedding, and had the starring role in a short run television series, Beulah.

But even with all the success she garnered as an African American star, her personal life was anything but glorious. She had several failed marriages. She lost tens of thousands in a robbery where cash and jewelry was stolen. The IRS hounded her. Then her career began to fade. But then something wonderful happened. She met Jesus Christ. She began to sing a song which echoed her life's story as she sang so poignantly His Eye is on the Sparrow and also wrote her autobiography by the same name in 1950. Soon after, she began to sing with the Billy Graham Association at evangelistic crusades. Although she died in 1977, she was inducted into the Christian Hall of Fame in 2007. (Wikipedia)

Here are the words to her best loved spiritual:

Why should I be discouraged?
Why should the shadows fall?
Why should my heart be lonely?
And long for Heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion...
My constant Friend is He
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me
Yes His eye is on the sparrow....
And I know He watches me.
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free..
I sing because I'm happy
For I know He watches me.
Hope if your skies are gray today and the rain seems never ending, that you will hear God's voice as He sings His song over you today. For as His eye is on the sparrow, His eye is most assuredly on you as well.

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