I Know He Watches Me

Her long yellow hair bounced as she ran through the marketplace, dodging clay pots and piles of hand-dyed fabric. She clutched the bag of bloody rags tightly, eyes alert, feet quick.

She was always in a hurry these days.

Her mama shouldn't be left alone for too long.

So she ran, twice a day, with her stained load of wash, to the well. It wasn't her favorite thing to do. People didn't stick around long when they saw her and her mess coming.

She filled a jar with water, found a spot a distance away, and began to soak the rags.

The well was a popular place for birds. They would hop around in the puddles of water tossed after washing. They searched for the little seeds fallen from nearby trees. Their chirping and happy trills gave the launderers something to smile about.

She smiled now, watching a baby sparrow as it hopped around, wings undeveloped, experiencing puddles for the first time. Its mother, watching nearby, looked just as amused.

She began to scrub and beat the rags, squeezing out the stains, ruddy water running down the rocks. Her hands were dry, cracking. Her arms ached. The sun was hot. She probably had fifty rags to clean. And she needed to hurry.

Then, not even half-way through the wet pile, she heard a crowd of people approaching the well. Mostly strangers, looking travel-worn and thirsty. But also a woman -- a very familiar looking woman.

"What are you doing out of the house? What possessed you...? What about ____?"

The older woman smiled, putting a finger to her lips, beckoning the girl to come.

"I touched Jesus."
"He just healed me. I'm not bleeding anymore!"

The years-afflicted, now-freed woman stood tall, eyes blazing with thankfulness.

"I had faith, child. I touched his robe. I was healed before he even spoke to me."
"You won't have to come here with all this dirty laundry anymore."

The tears began to flow now. Mother and daughter, eyes locked, salty happiness washing their cheeks. They embrace, daughter able to hug firmly now the strong, healed body.

Roles reversed, mother wipes the tears from her daughter's eyes.

"I can take care of YOU now."

And so the mother and daughter team finish the laundry together, laying out rags on rocks to dry in the sun.

And they watch the happy sparrows. Happy. Free. 
And I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.