Saturday, February 17, 2024


Sparrows are found in many ancient writings. Back then, plants and animals were often thought of in a more categorical sense rather than a species-specific sense. So sparrows, in general, to the ancients, were a category of several types of birds. What made a sparrow a sparrow in the ancient sense? A sparrow was a small bird that habituated with humans and adapted to conditions as humans change them.

When I think about sparrows, I think about the popular and beautiful song, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” My favorite version, by far, is on the Sister Act II soundtrack, sung by Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount. Goodness, I wore that soundtrack out back in the day and, to this day, it remains one of my all-time favorite collections. In googling it just now, I found Jennifer Hudson’s cover and it’s absolutely breathtaking too. Of course, could Jennifer Hudson ever sing anything not breathtaking? She’s completely amazing.

At the point in the movie when Lauryn and Tanya sing “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” so heartfelt and gut-wrenchingly, there’s a whole lot going on in each of their hearts and minds. There are some major challenges and oppressions weighing on them, particularly for Lauryn’s character as she works through tensions with her mom and misunderstandings all around her. This song, for them, is healing, and in watching it I feel like many of us too felt healing. I know I did. And I know that, when I listen to it now, I still get back to that all-important reminder that everything is going to be okay.

I wrote a blog post recently that I found myself going back to again and again; I just couldn’t let go of it. I kept rethinking it, rewriting it, deleting things, adding things, redeleting things, readding things, and, before I knew it, it had turned into more of a small novel than a simple essay. In the end, I shared way more than I intended to, but think it was important to share because there are so many challenges to be faced at our moment in time and in the current contentious climate the world is in. I felt like I had to go on record with how I see things, which may or may not be how others see things.

In writing the post, I found myself getting quite preachy. Like many, I am so frustrated with the animosity I see in so many aspects of life right now. There are just so many people trying to be better than, smarter than, holier than, and wiser than others. It’s a losing battle. As egos get larger and as tensions grow tighter, I find myself falling into the same trap so many are in: trying to scream back. And screaming and preaching and condemning and hating isn’t going to solve anything.

So, I need to take a lesson from sparrows, because sparrows are small. Sparrows are adaptable to changing conditions. And so sparrows are spiritualized for a very good reason in many ancient writings, because time has proven over and over, as time will continue to prove over and over again, that favor rests on those whose egos are small enough to adapt when change is needed.

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