I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
What a lovely thought. A beautiful hymn that speaks to the care our Father in heaven has for us. How He supplies our needs, gives us comfort, shares His joy and light with us.
His eye is on the insert-your-name-here.
But there's more to it than that. He doesn't just watch you...he sees you.
Is there a difference?
I watch my children all the time. Watching means (and I quote, from dictionary.com): to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens.
I'm watching my children for their well-being: their views on YouTube, the speed of the their go-cart, how high they jump on the trampoline, how close they get to the road, how rough they get when wrestling, how much juice is in their cup. I say things like, "Please put your clothes back on," and "The dog is not a horse." Or this week's favorite, "Stop hitting the watermelon with that stick." (I promise that was a real thing that happened.)
So I watch.
But I also need to see. Dictionary.com (how did we ever live without the amazing technological convenience that is dictionary.com?!) says to see is to perceive with the eyes; look at, with perceive meaning "to recognize, discern, envision, or understand."
Beloved, God watches you...but He also sees you. He looks at you. He is aware of you, recognizes you, understands you.
I picture dear Hagar alone and scared in the desert (Genesis 16). An Egyptian noblewoman, most likely, given as a gift to Abram and Sarai. From Egyptian courts to a slave in the desert. She runs away from camp, desperate to escape Sarai's hatred of her. The angel of the LORD finds her there and comforts her, making her beautiful promises of God's faithfulness to her.
Hagar gives God a name, El Roi, the God Who Sees Me. This little woman. A slave. A displaced foreigner. And she was the first person in the entirety of Scripture to give a name to God. An honor for her to be sure.
Just as God saw Hagar in the desert thousands of years ago, God sees you, too. He sees you at your job when the boss won't give you credit for a great idea. He sees you when your son smarts off to you making you cry. He sees you as you scrub spaghetti from the carpet and wash countless loads of toddler underwear and pants because it's potty-training time. He sees when you've created a beautiful piece of art, a colorful flower bed, or a gourmet dinner and no one recognizes how hard you've worked.
Beloved, when you fall into bed at night feeling alone and craving the least bit of recognition, you've got it.
The God-Who-Sees-Me sees you. And, oh my, how He loves you. Jesus came to earth for you, not because He felt sorry for you, but because He understands you. Isaiah 40:11 says, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart."
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. Happy and free indeed is the one who God sees.
Lord, create in us a heart that realizes it is seen by You.