Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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His eye is on the sparrow...and you too!

                                                                   May 27, 2020

Dear Friends,

His name was Cliff Oat. He was a member of my
congregation. When I stopped by for a visit, he pointed
out the bird feeder in his back yard. He told me how
much joy the birds brought him and his wife, Nancy.
He had his ornithology book as he pointed out the
various types that flocked to his feeder.

That was nearly thirty years ago. I was young. I didn't
really understand his passion for it. Who has time to
watch the birds? I remember thinking maybe it was
good for him. He was older and retired. Little did I
know then, that thirty years later, in the midst of a
pandemic, I'd be finding joy at the bird feeder myself.

It reminds me of a scene in the movie, Star Trek
Generations. Data, the android, began laughing
hysterically. His friend Geordi, had just successfully
installed an emotion chip in his processor. As he was
scanning his memory files, Data came across a witty
joke that his friend shared seven years earlier.

When asked about it, Data says, between guffaws,
"That joke! I get it now." Well, that's how I felt the
other day. I finally got what Cliff was trying to tell me
back then. Joy comes in the most unexpected places. It
comes in recognizing the simple beauty of nature. It
comes as a reminder that God is in control.

We need that now-a-days. With the daily reports on the
ravages of the corona virus, it is easy to lose sight of the
bigger picture. We can focus on what we've lost, instead
of what we have. We can turn inward and become crippled
with fear. Maybe that's why I have been thinking about
Cliff and the birds recently.

I mentioned it to Lori and the girls. I told them I was
thinking about getting a bird feeder. They laughed. Next
thing I know, my daughter sends me a Detroit Tiger
themed bird feeder for my birthday. I set it up. I filled it
with food. I waited. Five days passed. Not one bird seemed
to notice it.

Then on Saturday morning, as if the heavens opened up, I
spotted the first sparrow to alight upon it. I was overcome
with glee. I ran to get Lori and shouted, "A bird! A bird!"
Right then and there, the words of Civilla Martin's song,
"His Eye is on the Sparrow" came to me and brought me
such heartfelt joy.

The refrain goes like this: "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." It was a eureka moment  I suddenly
got it. I understood exactly why Cliff loved to watch the
birds. It was more than a hobby. It was an affirmation that
God was with him all the time.

So the next time you see a bird flying overhead, let it be a
reminder that the same God who cares for the birds of the
field, also cares for you.

God bless! See you in church.
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Archived Epistles