Little Blessings

His Eye is on the Sparrow
In the film Bruce Almighty, the title character is provided a taste of God’s power. Of course, he experiences this power from a human perspective. In one memorable scene, Bruce hears prayers offered to God: the chorus becomes a cacophony as humans lift their voices to God.

A weak point in my own spiritual maturity is my tendency to “not pester God with the little things.” I touched on this in my earlier post, Jesus Gave me Socks. One shortcoming of this line of reasoning is that it diminishes God. He’s not somewhat omnipotent. He doesn’t love us a little bit. To bolster my struggle against this thinking, I keep an eye out for little blessings.

This past Father’s Day weekend was a busy one at our house. Friday afternoon, Rich picked up our eldest grandson, Ayden, who is not quite five. On Saturday morning we took Ayden for a boat ride. From the marina we drove an hour to La Costa for a gathering at Rich’s parents’ house, where two of his sisters, one brother-in-law, the three-year-old triplets (two nephews and a niece), my daughter Elaine, and our younger grandson, Cadence, who’s 33 months old, joined us for a barbeque.

Sunday morning we attended church, then drove an hour to Redlands to return Ayden to his family. We returned home about 2 P.M. My dad and Rich’s son Ryan were to join us for another Father’s Day barbeque at 4 P.M. and I was almost ready.

On my to-do list was a dash to the grocery store for a few needed things. I was one tired grandma and feeling just a bit harried.

I was standing in an aisle of the grocery store, gathering bottles of iced tea from the top shelf; I had left my cart haphazardly blocking the aisle. I looked up to see a man pushing his cart my way. I began to move my cart so he could pass. “That’s okay!” he called out. “I’m in no hurry.” I offered him what I intended to be a grateful smile and returned to the tea. He spoke again. “May I help you?” “No thanks,” I replied. “I’ve got it.”

He stood there in his shorts, smiling and waiting patiently. We wished each other a good day and moved on. I felt that little soothing tingle in my heart and knew this kind man had blessed me.

In May, Rich’s beloved Aunt Mary died. Her grieving children planned a beautiful memorial service in Julian, a mountain town east of San Diego, as it was one of their mother’s favorite places. We sat in chairs arranged on a lawn as we remembered this fine woman and committed her soul to God.
The pastor spoke, family and friends shared memories, tears were shed. Finally, a woman rose and led us in singing Amazing Grace. As we sang the familiar words, a magnificent swallowtail butterfly appeared. It fluttered over the gathering, dipping and swooping over our heads as we sang. When we finished the song, it flew off into the woods.
29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a
single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the
very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more
valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)


  1. I didn't get a sparrow, I got what I needed: a falling locust branch as big around as a basketball and about 30 feet long. We had been on the water all day, scrubbing down our boat and enjoying a beautiful Spring day here in Michigan where we live. Throughout the day we had been hearing weather alerts on the radio about a storm that was travelling across the state. We eventually realized that we were now i nthe storm's path, and should leave the lake and head home, just a few miles away. We thought we had plenty of time.

    We arrived home a short time later and I was backing the truck and boat into the driveway when the storm struck. We could see it coming across a small lake that's across the street from our home. It turned the blue waters alomost black, and the sky was suddenly like a tempest, dark and forboding. The wind kicked up in an instant, as soon as I I put the truck in "park", and my family bolted for the safety of the house. In my haste, I had to go back to the truck for my keys, left dangling uselessly in the ignition, and by the time I got back up on the front porch, my family was huddled together, with intense wind and horizontal rain pounding us all. We got into the house in time to hear a loud crack and a backward glance as we headed for the cellar revealed a huge limb from the tree out front flying through the air.

    As quickly as the storm came, it passed. When we emerged from the cellar, there was damage everywhere. The big limb lay across the bow of the boat atop a smashed and mangled steel tubing that had moments before been the bow rail. The rest of the branch lay across the hood of the truck. Another completely blocked the street as sirens began to herald the rest of the detruction caused by the brief but powerful storm, later described as "shear wind".

    As a surveyed the damage to my boat and truck, I was thankful at least that the storm had not injured my family, and we began documenting the damage for the insurance company.

    This was June 8th, 2008. I remember the date, but not because of the storm. You see, the next day, June 9th, I would loose my job of some fourteen years. In the ensuing weeks I would plainly recognize God's hand at work.

    I received a fair insurance settlement for all of the damage done to my property. Thankfully, God had gifted me with the skills to do many of the repairs myself, and so with plenty of time on my hands I was able to keep a fair portion of the settlement as wages for my own labor. Along with my severance pay, I was able to pay off most of my small debts (car, truck, credit cards, etc.) and bank a small cushion against the lean times to come.

    While my reaction might easily have been one of dispair and woe it was plain to me that truly, these were pennies from heaven. God sent me a well placed branch.

  2. I am always amazed at His creative ways to send us exactly what we need. Thanks for sharing this story!