You Are More Valuable Than Many Sparrows
Since launching JL PARISH almost one month ago, I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the number of people who have reached out to me regarding the Sparrow Project. Stories of neglect, emotional abuse, physical violence, molestation, feelings of worthlessness and women just downright fearing for their lives and their children’s lives have put an ache in my heart and a tear in my eye. The stories I’m speaking of weren’t the one’s from the endless local news stories about domestic violence, these stories have come from women I know and love. And, the Sparrow Project has been the divinely designed conduit through which their stories are being shared. And, as my beloved friend, mentor and rocking goldsmith, Bubba would say, “Once you share something with another person, it’s not a secret anymore. And, it no longer has that power over you.” Starting the dialogue about domestic violence is an important piece of liberating victims from their past or present situation.
As a human, I feel it’s our responsibility to help those who need help. If we haven’t been the person on the receiving end, we will one day in one form or fashion. It’s inevitable. We all need each other to survive. The truth is, it really does take a village. But, as a woman, I feel an even greater responsibility to help other women. Physical and emotional abuse against any being is not ok. But, my sisters, the thought of someone harming you and me is absolutely, without question WRONG. When are we going to get mad about this? I mean, mad to the point that we are lifting these victims up in prayer and seeking ways to transition them out of their current situation. Every single day news stories break about our sisters being harmed and often found dead. When will we drop what we’re doing and take a stand on this and be proactive in helping these women and children?
The decision to add the Sparrow Project to JL PARISH.COM was one that was a result of prayer. And, as the person praying that prayer, I can tell you that God’s hand is on this. Originally, it was meant to bring hope and light into the lives of my customers, meanwhile giving hope to victims of domestic violence. Today, it’s clear to me that the Sparrow Project is so much bigger than that. It’s a movement of change and hope and dialogue and service and love.
In the event you haven’t read the Sparrow Project story from JLPARISH.COM, simply read below. I hope that you’ll be inspired and moved to action in some way. And, let this ole’ country gal just say, what a JOY it is to be on this journey with you all.
The Sparrow Project at JLPARISH.COM
Our beloved friend and sister, Debra Nixon Bowles is a strong, bold, vibrant, beautiful, mover and shaker. If you ever have the joy of meeting her, you will not soon forget her. She’s memorable in that she radiates an enthusiasm and a true joy that comes from knowing God. And, she’s a domestic violence survivor.
According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, 35% of women globally will experience domestic violence. On average, almost 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by a domestic partner in the United States. And, an astounding one in three women will experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
You see, Debra doesn’t look like the “type” of person who would have an abuser because there is no “type.” Domestic Violence exists in all areas of our communities, in varying social and economic status, across age, gender, race and religion. It plays no favorites. The statistics are staggering.
Out of the heart of an overcomer, someone who escaped the grip of death, Debra has found a way to help others like herself through Women Called Moses (womencalledmoses.org). Her organization strives to transition women out of domestic violence through education and advocacy services provided to individuals, family and community agencies throughout the USA. WCM is both her passion and her life’s mission.
Debra’s passion to eradicate domestic violence sparked JL PARISH’S Sparrow Project. CEO/Designer, Jill Lide Parish said, “We wanted to create a unique piece of jewelry to benefit Women Called Moses. Because Debra and I encourage one another’s spirits through prayer and scripture, we dreamed up something we felt would be beautiful and speak to the spirits of JL PARISH customers, too.” The Sparrow Project was inspired by the old gospel hymn, His Eye Is on the Sparrow. Widely known as a staple hymn in African-American worship services, this song was written and composed by two white songwriters. Lyricist, Civilla Martin wrote, “Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, NY. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle- true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.”
Just like the jewelry we wear has a story, we know there are many stories out there. And, let’s face it, many of them could use a more triumphant arc, happier ending or new beginning. JL PARISH is committed to making an impact in the community by sharing resources to positively change the lives of those in need. A portion of profits from the sale of all Sparrow Project purchases will be used to do just that. So, while you indulge in retail therapy, feel good knowing that every Sparrow Project purchase you make will positively contribute to another life awaiting a great new beginning to their own story.
“Do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows.”
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