God has a way of plucking people from the worst circumstances and setting their feet on a rock to serve and praise Him. Ethel Waters is one of millions to have this redemptive experience.
Some of you may remember the Billy Graham Crusades televised years ago. I wrote a blog here sharing my thoughts about those crusades as I remembered Billy Graham.
Ethel Waters was often a guest singer. Many had no idea of her story. Born in Pennsylvania in 1896, she was a product of a disparaging childhood. She made her way past the bar rooms to Broadway and achieved worldly success as a singer and later in the movies.
An Emmy nomination would make her the first black woman to have this honor. But greater things than this were in store for her. Worldly success would pale as she would find God and live the last 20 years of her life devoted to His service. The Billy Graham Crusades put her God-given talent in front of millions, and finally it would be used for eternal purposes until her death in 1977.
A sparrow is not the most beautiful bird God created. Its size is usually about 5 inches, and its coloring is brown and other neutrals. Not impressive at all, and yet, God created sparrows for a purpose. There are lessons to apply, and I think Ethel Waters did.
“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” is one of her most popular songs. Charles Gabriel and Civila Martin wrote it, but Ethel Waters brought it to life. You can watch her sing it here.
Thank God for her life. Once redeemed, it was well lived for God’s glory. If you search her on YouTube, you will see a demonstration of her legacy. The views of her songs are evidence of God spreading His story through her story.
Ethel Waters, proof a horrible beginning doesn’t necessarily mean a bad ending. She used the time in her later years to serve the only One who can bring light from darkness, hope from despair, and glory to the only One who can save us from ourselves. God gives us the dignity to make the choice.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.