No. 801



One of the things I never want to take for granted is that I have some great people who read my column. Many of you have sent me various articles, stories and quotes that I have used in various ways, to share with others that serves to make us all better people.
While my mind often feeds me some unique thoughts and ways to express an idea, I have never claimed to be original. As it says in the Book of Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” One of my readers, and also a friend, is a wonderful gentleman by the name of Joe Lehmann. He has sent me countless e-mails over the years. With me, recently, he hit the nail on the head when he sent me a story about a sparrow at a Starbucks in New York City. While this is not exactly the Bible belt, the message in following story Joe sent me is unmistakable.
This particular Starbucks is located at 51st Street and Broadway in Manhattan, and for musicians who play there it is known as the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world. For those who can play the right tunes, the tips are substantial. One day this old musician was playing songs from the 40s to the 90s. During an emotional rendition of the classic, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” he noticed a lady sitting in a lounge chair a short distance away. She was swaying to the beat and singing along. After the number was over, she approached him and said, “I apologize for singing along on the song. Did it bother you?” she asked. “No, he replied. “We love it when the audience sings along. Would you like to sing the next selection?”
To his delight, she accepted the invitation. “You choose the song,” he said. “What are you in the mood to sing?” “Well, do you know any hymns?” He said, “I cut my teeth on hymns. Name one.” “Oh, so many good ones, how about ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’”?
He began to play and she began to sing. “Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?” The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion. “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”
When the last note was sung, the applause had reached a crescendo that became a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. The old musician embraced his new friend. “You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful,” he said. “Why did you pick that particular song?” She hesitated, “That was my daughter’s favorite song. She was 16 and died of a brain tumor last week.” In spite of her grief, she still managed to bless others through that wonderful song.
The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember. Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Rahab was a prostitute, David had an affair and was a murderer, Jonah ran from God, Job went bankrupt, John the Baptist ate bugs, Peter denied Christ, The Disciples fell asleep while praying, the Samaritan woman was divorced more than once, Zaccheus was too small, Paul was too religious, Timothy had an ulcer and Lazarus was dead. What a blessing. Wish I could have been there that day.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)