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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…