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.