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J Walking

An article about a beautiful couple whose lives have been turned over by chronic disease.
Though the situations are different, the story reminds me of the story behind the hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. Of that song the lyricist wrote:

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.

What the Brettel’s have come to know and what countless millions of other Americans have come to learn is that there can be joy in suffering, happiness in pain, great fruit out of even the worst.
One of the reasons I can say this so certainly is that I know one of the Brettel kids. He and his wife have become friends and in the sick and dark days of my own life they are there with an understanding that comes from experience. I am blessed, my family is blessed because of what he has learned from his parents pain.
This begs countless questions about God and pain and suffering – unanswerable questions. But it also begs awe and wonder that even the worst can be made beautiful. Especially since his eye really is on the sparrow…

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