I want to share with you something a friend of mine said recently to me, “The virus is global, but God is universal.” Maybe she was quoting someone. I don’t know. But her words did make me pause to reflect on my belief in a Higher Being and how this belief affects my response to the frightening events happening in my world. How do we maintain our equilibrium?
We must realize that our “being” has three components. Neglect any one and your life will be out of balance. One component is the intellectual mind–the part that thinks, learns, and understands. Another is the physical body–the miraculous systems that enable us to grow, live and be the top of the chain in the cycle of life. The third is the spirit–the “God spark” which makes us uniquely different from all other forms of life.
The God spark is that part which encourages good actions on an individual basis as we exhibit love toward our family and friends. The God spark, however, is much more. It is the justice, respect, and equality we show our “neighbors.” And as technology is able to link us locally and globally, we surely realize that neighbors are not just the people who live close to us, the ones whose salary is comparable to ours, those whose skin color is the same as ours, those who come from the same culture as we do. Our neighbor is anyone who lives on our planet. You enrich the God spark or spirituality of your life through reading and practicing words of wisdom. And this is achieved through private meditation and corporate times of learning and worship.
Each religion has words of wisdom to encourage during times of stress. I have found a verse from the Holy Bible of the Judeo-Christian tradition particularly uplifting to me when I am most conscious of taking time daily for meditation and prayer. I hope you, too, will find the fortitude and comfort you need to hold on to this tenuous thread we call life with all its blessings and curses by reading and reflecting on Matthew 6:26 ESV: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
These words and similar ones in Luke 12:22-25 inspired the writing of the Gospel song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and its subsequent refrain, “ . . . And I know He watches me.” (1905, words by Civila D. Martin and music by Charles H. Gabriel). It was sung in the early fifties (1950s) by Ethel Waters and a little later by Mahalia Jackson with her rich contralto voice in concert, on radio, and on television. More contemporary singers who have given “His Eye is on the Sparrow” their own interpretation include Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Larnelle Harris.
In doing research for this blog post, I came across a beautiful piano version by Kaleb Brasse which allowed me to be swept along with a very calm, soothing rendition. You may want to click on one or more of these classic vocal recordings to encounter encouragement for the time and place in which you find yourself or you may also need, as I did, the quiet notes played on piano to bring peace to your spirit in these chaotic times.
Kaleb Brasse, piano instrumental hymn with lyrics:
Words and Music of Encouragement
Connie Carlisle Polley. 2020