A Lenten Poem for Uncertain Days

Keep your eyes on the sparrows.

Perhaps now is our time as a human community to do what we have not done in Gospel spirit and truth across our collective history. Perhaps now is the time to learn to care for each and every person and in particular for those who have been and are most vulnerable. Perhaps now is the time to keep our eyes on the sparrows and from that vantage point wrestle with the complex moral questions that are arising out of the mist with each new pandemic-plagued day.

With Our Eyes on the Sparrows

keep your eye on the sparrow
she says as she watches my face


burrowed into church eaves
nesting in the backyard camellia bush

fence picket perchers fussing in
damp dirt behind a too-full raincatcher

no stand-out solo serenades or fiery
flashes like cardinals in springtime

no soaring hawk-winged shadow puppets
sickling dew-drenched summer grass

a copper coin for a pair of sparrows
jesus said as he watched their faces


the creating-one knows every wing-beat
fashions and fastens every feather

delights in each hair on each head
relishes every strand silvered by winter suns

so i watched today as a plucky sparrow
sat on the deck rail and watched me

i imagined being able to fly away—
to escape sorrows gone viral

she nods a gentle blessing
i think i’ll keep my eyes on you

Author: Jill Crainshaw

I am a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and an ordained PCUSA minister.

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