Sunday, 20 September 2020
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A robin in the September 2020 snow A robin in the September 2020 snow Gayle Irwin

His eye is on the sparrow … And upon us

Limbs cracked and branches broke. Shrubs and other plants bowed as if in depression and despair from the weight of the snow. Songbirds huddled and garden vegetables drooped from freezing temperatures. Most community residents moaned from the onslaught of winter white.  

On Labor Day this year, a major snowstorm rolled through Wyoming and Colorado, dropping 8 to 16 inches on Casper, Wyoming (varying depth due to where around town a person lived). I live in this community, and that rude winter awakening was the earliest significant snowstorm on record. 

September snow on a Wyoming apple tree/Gayle Irwin


My husband moved snow from the sidewalk, the lower limbs of our apple tree, and a berry-bearing bush in the front yard. Almost immediately after he shook the shrub, loosening winter’s grip from the tender branches, a large flock of cedar waxwings moved in. Males and females, at least 25 in number, flew in, perched on the still-green-leafed bush, and gobbled the golden berries. I stared in amazement as first one group and then another jetted through the air and onto the shrub. A robin or two also partook of the feast.  

     
Cedar waxwings/Gayle Irwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I watched in amazement, knowing waxwings are not native to my area, thoughts turned to the words of Christ: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6: 26 & 27 - NIV).  

It’s been quite a year

What a year 2020 has been for those of us in the pregnancy help ministry! COVID-19 brought many challenges, and though we may feel ‘we’ve got this’ after six months of trial and error, testing one thing after another, “Zooming” all over with various meetings, and accepting constant change, most of us are weary.

We see increasing numbers of abortion-minded/determined women. We read and learn about abortion pills available through the internet. We face declining fundraisers and tighter budgets. We see little of our colleagues because of COVID as we seek to protect one another. These are things happening at the center at which I work, and I imagine many of you are experiencing similar happenings. Like those plants in my yard after the snowstorm, we can become discouraged and downtrodden.

Or we can be like the waxwings – gobbling up the blessings of God. 

The woman who came in, planning to abort, discovering she was carrying twins and freaking out, leaving the center undecided … then reaching out a few weeks later saying she changed her mind, plans to continue her pregnancy and parent, and wants to know more about resources and programs available to her. 

The supporter who owns some land and wants to donate a portion for a new billboard advertising Abortion Pill Rescue® on the road leading to the abortion clinic – and has friends who will construct the billboard … for free. 

The woman who contacts the center after having her baby and thanks a staff member for “all the wonderful help and encouragement” given, concluding, “I’m so glad you guys were there for me!” 

His eye is on the sparrow … and so much more

There’s a wonderful song that reminds us that God is always with us. “His Eye is on the Sparrow” starts this way: 

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. 

In Matthew 10:29 – 31, we read, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

He is with us through the times when a woman leaves planning to abort and you learn later she went through with that decision; when the Zoom call for your staff meeting (or parenting class) messes up; when your center is attacked by pro-abortion groups online or through picketing; when less money comes in during your fundraiser – or your event is cancelled because of COVID lockdown. 

Let us remember our God is there for us, He will take care of us. The many words of Jesus, including these, can comfort us and help us in times of struggle: “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 – NIV)

Just as his eye was upon those waxwings during and after the freak snowstorm, his eye is on the sparrow … and upon us.

Listen to Sandi Patty sing "His Eye is on the Sparrow" HERE.

Gayle Irwin

Gayle M. Irwin is human and pet life advocate and an award-winning author and freelance writer. She is a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books and the author of many inspirational pet books and stories for children and adults. Her first novel, a clean, contemporary pet rescue romance titled Rescue Road, released November 8, 2019. She subtly weaves important life and faith lessons within the lines and pages of her stories. As Patient Resources Director for True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyoming, for ten years, Gayle oversees the volunteer program, writes patient stories for the organization’s newsletter, creates blog and social media posts for the center, and serves as a patient advocate when needed. Learn more about her writing endeavors and read her pet blog at her website: www.gaylemirwin.com.

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