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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Feel (emotions) (08/26/10)

TITLE: His Eye is on the Sparrow
By Ron Mears


His Eye is on the Sparrow

In the days of my youth there were several things that were essential to a boy’s existence. A bicycle was number one; Number two was a baseball glove; And, number three was a BB Gun.

I had begged Mom and Dad for a BB gun all year long. All my friends had one and I was determined to get it for Christmas. Certainly, in a boy’s mind, ten years old was a responsible age. Mom and Dad relented and Christmas Day I took my BB gun out to show my friends, Johnny and Dennis.

We shot at tin cans, paper bulls eyes, and whatever else made a worthy target that balmy Christmas Day. Then, someone suggested we shoot at birds. Mom and Dad had specifically forbidden me to shoot at birds. I felt a twinge of conscience, but I gave into to peer pressure and did it anyway.

Luckily I was not yet a sharp shooter. One sparrow after another flew away safe and free as my pellets whizzed past them, but then, one did not. He fell to the ground. Amidst the approbation of my friends we scurried to claim my prize.

He was not dead, but was lying seriously injured in a small pool of blood. I was told that I needed to put him out of his misery. Reluctantly, I aimed my weapon at his head and pulled the trigger.

Immediately, a dreadful feeling of horror and anguish overcame me. My heart felt as if it was wrenched out of my chest. All I wanted was to take back that moment when I had disobeyed my Mother and Father. Maybe they had forbidden me not to shoot birds because of their reverence for life, but I suspect that they also knew my nature and understood the harm that it would do to me. The old hymn, “His eye is on the sparrow , and I know He watches me”, haunted me for many days.

It was a hard lesson for a ten year old boy but I have no doubt that it was a lesson directly from God. I made a personal decision to never hunt again.

When I was eighteen I joined the Army, became an expert in several weapons and was deployed to Vietnam. There was always a conflict in my spirit. I wanted to serve my country but what would happen if I were put into a position where a had to kill another man? If I could not stand to kill even a little sparrow, how could I possibly shoot a human being made in God‘s image?

I was never put to the test. I am thankful that God in His mercy saw me safely through my year in Vietnam without having to find out.

Is it wrong to hunt? I don’t know. I make no judgment about that but I am thankful that my Mom and Dad taught me to respect life. I have tried to pass the same thing on to my daughter. I was so proud of her recently when my ten year old grandson wanted to shoot a giant garden spider with his BB gun and I heard my daughter say, “No, Son. You know that this is a ‘no kill’ household.”

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This article has been read 349 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Mahler 09/02/10
WOW! Thanks so much for sharing - so beautifully what is so close to your heart. You must be so proud that your daughter shares your value and is now passing it on to her child.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/05/10
This really touched my heart. It is a tough lesson for a child to learn. Watch your capitalization; you don't need to capitalize after a semi- colon. You did a good job with the topic thanks for sharing.
Virgil Youngblood 09/08/10
Thanks for sharing your memories. I remember well the first BB gun I owned. I still have two of them that are used when the grandsons come and we set up targets. Gun safety must be taught, not caught.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/09/10
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level.