Essays on Faith, Family and Culture

Miracles Are All Around Us

Miracles are all around us if we just slow down enough to stop, look, and listen. Most of us are rushing so much we’re trapped in our own thoughts. We barely get out of our own way long enough to recognize something beautiful. To recognize a God-moment in our lives takes practice but once you begin recognizing all the little miracle moments, you realize that God is as close as your heart.

This morning, my God breeze – a little whisper from God – came in the form of a bird.

My husband and I live on a 17-acre farm. We love to observe the wildlife around us. I’ve noticed a lot of activity from a male and female cardinal who seemed to be flying back and forth to a tall pine tree behind the meditation bench in the garden. Then, a few weeks ago, we began hearing the chirping – baby cheeps, little pips, the sound of new life.

But I couldn’t find the nest! Try as I might, I could not see the nest – not from the garden, not from my office windows which face the garden, not with binoculars. Mama Cardinal had hidden her nest quite well. Smart lady, especially when she and her mate chose a pine tree in a yard inhabited by six cats.

Weeks passed and I wondered how my cardinal friends fared. I almost didn’t go out to work in the vegetable garden this morning. My choices were to work on my novel, head out to the trail to do a training walk for the 5K I plan to do in September, or work in the vegetable garden.

“God, what should I do?” I prayed.

My spirit said, garden, so I donned my gardening clothes and headed out. I was picking peas when a sharp, insistent chirp made me look up.

Startled, I focused on not one, but four birds, all in a row on a branch in the peach tree. Juvenile cardinals – four of them, each one taking a turn to send me a cheery farewell before they fluttered, as if with one mind, up into the air, stumbling a bit and uncertain on their wings, each soaring to a different corner of the yard.

I was stunned. I knew instantly that it wasn’t just coincidence. These four had to be the offspring raised in the pine tree just a few hundred feet away. I have seen baby birds on their first day of flight and the nestlings tend to cluster like this on boughs and branches, sticking together until they gain strength and confidence in their wings.

And here they were…the four of them I had listened to for several weeks, chirping “Goodbye.”

You may say it is a coincidence, and that’s your prerogative. As for me, I choose to believe that God sends me little signs every once in a while to remind me of his love, and his creation, and its beauty, so I can remember the good in the world.

(c) Copyright: steve_byland / Licensed from DepositPhotos.com

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