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Chip's Blog

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

By February 28, 2018 6 Comments

Of all the songs I have performed, His Eye Is On The Sparrow is the one most requested, and the one I most enjoy singing. Tomorrow, I will be singing that song at the funeral service for Allen Johnson. It was his request, and I am so honored to do it for him.

Allen was a remarkable man. He ran the race set before him full speed ahead, laying aside every encumbrance. He ran with endurance. And he crossed the finish line, hands raised in victory. It was a glorious one.

A week or so back I wrote about carving the hanging sculpture of the seven doves at the theater. I so appreciate all the sweet comments we received about the sculpture. But let me tell you about the sculpture we have at the theater that truly is remarkable.

It was done by Allen Johnson. He and his wife, Lea, donated it to the theater several years ago, and I’m still amazed every time I look it.   

The sculpture is a circuit preacher’s traveling church wagon, complete with pews. lectern, and a crate full of hymnals. Every detail is beautifully crafted. But the thing that makes it special, was Allen’s utter dependence on the Lord to guide his hands as he created the many pieces with power tools, then put them together with such precision.

You see, Allen was blind. But he didn’t see his condition as a disability. Instead, he accepted it as an opportunity to have a ministry of encouragement to others. He certainly encouraged me.

Allen was on my list of people I want to interview for a new podcast we’re producing, and will launch this May. It’s called Jesus Music Writing & Art -The Podcast for Christian Creatives. The idea of it is to talk to people who have been given both a gift, and the desire to fully develop and use that gift as their work.

I was one who kept my gifts under a basket for fifty years, and I’d like to encourage others not to do that, but to step out of the boat and see where the Lord might take them.

Allen did that every day. He was a guy who stepped out of the boat and walked on water with the Lord, creating wonderful pieces that amaze and inspire people like me and like you with the reality that we really don’t have much of an excuse.

I’m disappointed that I won’t get to interview him, but Allen really didn’t leave anything unsaid. He conveyed his message eloquently, and it will continue to be received by anyone who sees one of his wonderful pieces on display, and hears his story. As we try to imagine the time he spent walking with the Lord as he shaped and assembled his creations, he will continue to testify that, although he had lost his vision, Allen Johnson could see.

We’ll have the wagon Allen created on display at the theater during Peter the Rock, and I’ll be singing  His Eye Is On The Sparrow every Saturday through the end of April, in honor of the testimony that his beautiful life and work…not was, but is.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Elayne says:

    We were there when you sang it a few months ago and our 8-year-old grandson loved it, even though the genre of music we hear there is not his favorite. He asked me to buy him the cd. He had been with us once before and advised me NOT to buy the cds! Hope we can bring him again in April.

  • Lea Johnson says:

    I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your performance at Allen’s celebration and playing the song he requested before he died. He would have been so proud and I have no doubt he was kicking up those red boots he loved so much. It was indeed an honor to have you as a part of the celebration of life that he loved dearly. He fought many obstacles besides blindness and cancer and never waivered in his faith. Allen was so supportive of yours and Glenn’s ministry and supported the theatre even though he didn’t get to come often. Without God’s guidance Allen could have never made your church wagon and it just proves you can do anything with the help of the good Lord. Thanks for making Allen’s dream come true and God Bless you Glenn and all the staff in all that you do.
    Blessed to be His.
    Lea Johnson

  • Jinks and Vicki White says:

    Chip, like you, I was honored and blessed to be asked to participate in Allen’s celebration. He was a beacon of light in our often dark world and he touched thousands of lives through his art and his testimony. Lea and Allen have been wonderful friends and Lea has made me promise to bring her with us to a Saturday performance of “Peter, the Rock”. Vicki and I are Ragtown Family Circle members and we look forward to celebrating with you and Glenn very soon.
    Blessed be the tie that binds!
    Jinks White

  • Maurice Stanley says:

    Allen will live on for generations. His artwork provides pleasure to all who knew him, and will continue for years. Allen out maneuvered every obstacle that was put before him and became an inspiration for all who saw his art. I am glad my life crossed paths with his. He was an extraordinary man among ordinary men. Allen was in control of his life, his hand in the hand of God.

  • Eddie L Conrad says:

    Chip this is one of my most favorite songs. My Mom used to sing it in church when I was a youngster. It brings a tear to my eyes whenever I hear it. God speaks to us through songs and music about and to Him .

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