I almost stopped noticing feathers, red birds and coins.
A callous remark meant to be fun was hurtful.
“How will you survive your son, your “baby” going to college?”
My answer, not quite as mournful as the question.. “Oh, I don’t know.” was met reply…”You’ll be fine, just go find a feather.”
So, I almost stopped noticing.
I walked the Saturday evening after seeing the accident with a little boy injured frighteningly bad. I thought of the posture of my prayer that day and the unashamed plea for life. I recalled the scene of imploringly requesting mercy, the prayer, unashamed, uninhibited.
I remembered as I walked, the sweet story of a white dove on the walking trail. The dove my daughter and her fiance had greet them a few days in a row before that Saturday.
Before that Saturday afternoon beside the road with a little boy.
Peace, a dove, calmly preparing the heart.
And as I walked and prayed God’s will, God’s glory, not mine
I noticed, shiny, glistening, amongst flattened leaves and straw
A silver, beaten up old dime.
And I remembered that finding a dime is symbolic of grace and assurance as if to say, ” It will be alright. You are seen. You are loved.”
“You are remembered.”
And so, I am noticing God again.
Red birds flitting by. Clouds bordered by pink. Big pretty full or skinny crescent moons. Lyrics that stop my busyness, speak perfectly, clearly.
Parallels in prayer, in thought, in scripture recited, journaled, offered up to a friend and then recalled, repeated, reminded by another.
My friend, John stopped by and we talked about a funeral.
The music. Piano, clear and consulate. The message. The presence of God, of love.
He had noticed too. So, I shared my words recorded earlier:
A few weeks ago, a friend who happens to be an employee lost her husband unexpectedly. She was in shock and heartbroken, physically ill. In our embrace, I reminded her of her strength, her courage and her faith. “You are strong.” I told her. “Still, it will be hard.”
Through the evening and into the following day, I texted her to check in, each time reminding her that I was praying for her. I recalled a promise from God’s word and I simply texted her “My prayer for you is that you are keenly aware of the peace of God…the peace that surpasses all understanding.” Thinking back now, I know that verse was brought to mind by God, for my friend. Without knowing the exact verse or its context, these few words came to mind for my friend.
While not nearly sufficient to ease her pain, I’ve thought since how appropriate these words were for my friend her world spinning and she, in shock. The passing of her husband on a typical Thursday morning, something she could not understand. And I thought “How amazing is our God that he knows there will be tragedies we can’t fathom or understand?”
We are not expected to understand.
Our lack of understanding confounds us, troubles us, and grieves us. His command, His promise, “Rest in my peace. It surpasses your bewilderment and grief.”
I attended the funeral service for my friend’s husband. The music enveloped me as I sat accompanied by a few women who live in our shelter and one other friend.
We were such a contrast, lining that pew, I’m sure to most people.
Young women, older women, and a sharply dressed professional and member of our board of directors, we lined one of the pews. All of us there as friends together loving our friend through her loss.
The minister welcomed us with a prayer and all joined in singing Amazing Grace. My board member and friend, the definition of a gentleman, sat on my right and a pregnant and homeless young woman, a resident of our shelter on my left. The gentleman, a crisp navy suit; the young soon to be mother, having no dresses wore a pair of denim capris, a maternity top and a bright scarf she later told me with a big smile she added to give “a pop of color”.
We sang together. We blended beautifully.
We sang Amazing Grace as if we’d all been singing in the same little church choir for years. By the third verse, I found myself in tears over the beauty of this grace, this peaceful worship.
The minister spoke from Philippians, Chapter 4. He spoke of the pain of death. He spoke of grief and of the hope of heaven. Then, he closed with verse seven:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7
Quietly, I closed my eyes then and thanked God for His words and His lyrics, our Amazing God, our God who longs to be noticed.
I am noticing again. How can I not?
My friend, now a widow returned to work at our shelter.
A very young new mom and precious newborn baby girl, anticipating her return. A child, a mama, an older wise lady.
A young woman, burdened by mistakes but believing in good
And a front porch fern with open mouthed, frantically happy birds
Saying “Begin again”.
Finding feathers and noticing God. We begin again.
Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee, sharing, learning, being brave.
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