Friday, May 11, 2012

Just A Feather Will Do

Some years ago a friend sent me a music CD. A short phrase in one verse caught my imagination --  just a feather will do. I do not have a collection of feathers but I have a few that hold significance because of when I discovered them.
Feathers -- some so light that they are wisps -- some heavy to help eagles take flight. For those of us who embraced the film,“Forrest Gump” , there is a remembrance of the opening scenes as a feather winds its way to Forrest’s feet. His acceptance of it becomes the metaphor of his taking flight into the adventures that became the fabric of his life. 
I ponder the heavier wonderments of my life and its meanings. These are not negative times but there is potential in missing the immediate moments with their wisps of grace God has before my eyes. I want to remember that He is taking care of the future and wants me to rest in the moments, to be more intentional in seeking what they hold.They are step-builders to his ordained future.
All parts of God’s creation are significant. I want just a feather to do: a teardrop, a raindrop that bring the fruits of restoration and nurture; the rests that are part of a larger musical score making it complete because they are there; a smile that lifts, a hug that comforts, a friend who understands.
I asked my cousin, Teri, if I could share about the feathers that God brought to her life and to our family’s lives through her. I will weave my comments in among her story.
Jan. 5th 2011, I received a call at work from John [her husband] who was very distraught and said there had been a bad accident and I must come to the hospital. I was at the Express Lane at work with customers and he said, “Come quick, it isn’t good.”
Aaron [ their 28 year old son ] had called me the night before and asked me if I could take Ashley [Aaron's wife] to work the next day. He needed the truck she usually drove to work. So, of course, I said, “Yes”,  and he responded with the most emotion I had ever heard in his voice, “THANKS MAMA, I LOVE YOU!” Those would be the last words I ever heard from him.
[The family runs a tree service business in a rural area. Aaron was high up on a crane, all safety measures in place, preparing a tree to be felled, high enough to see the eagles swooping by in the freedom they have, as if owning the skies.]
What must go through a mother’s heart at such a time? What must have gone through Aaron’s young wife’s mind as Teri swooped her up with the urgency in the call and they took to the road. Surely, she and Aaron’s one-year old daughter, Abigail, filled some of her thoughts. Feathers of grace fell into place without hesitation.

We cried and prayed the whole way to the hospital. We drove not knowing if Aaron was alive or dead. We held hands and prayed and prayed and prayed. We reached the road near where John was raised. At that moment, and on that particular spot in the highway, a large eagle actually swooped over our windshield and flew over the bay and towards the horizon upward. I knew within my mother’s heart that at that very moment, Aaron was being lifted to heaven on eagles wings. To me an eagle has always represented God! I knew that God was lifting Aaron Home. When we finally arrived at the hospital, we found that the moment the eagle had swooped our car was the exact minute that they had declared Aaron dead on arrival. I choose to declare him resurrected!
When I received the news later that day from Teri’s brother, as I sat in disbelief of the accident and all that it may have entailed, feathered thoughts were upon me -- a mantle of God’s presence. In my mind’s eye I saw Aaron falling from his spot high above the road, but as he fell, God swooped in. Cradling Aaron in his arms to soften the fall, holding him close, He whispered, “It is okay, son. I’ve got you. I am taking you Home.” It was months later that I found out that the place where Aaron came to rest was softened as I had seen. He lie as if in sleep, no evidence of what one would think the scene could be. His father and brother rushed to administer CPR as they awaited the paramedics. Moments of unbelief, pain, horror coexisting with God’s hand of grace to help them.
Life became a blur for the week or two before Aaron’s life celebration. The day before the service, I felt led to speak for our family to those who gathered. I went up to the 100 year old homestead where Aaron and Ashley had been married. I wanted to hear the words from God that  I was to share. It was 8p.m. and already dark. As I turned on the  porch light at the house where I would write God’s message, there on the doorstep of the old farmhouse was a young eagle feather -- God’s signature to me that He was with us in all of this. Aaron was secure with Him. He had lived his ordained earthly days. 

Teri came to know, as others of us have experienced too, that God wants to gift us with signs and wonders, assurances of what can bring us comfort in the deepest days of despair. It will not be literal feathers for everyone, although young Abigail now knows that her Daddy may wing some feathers down from above, signs that he walks alongside her as she steps into the days and adventures of her life. For some it could be the promise seen in the appearance of an unexpected rainbow or a timely word in a note or phone call. I often am blessed hearing  a song that brings tears of recognition that God understands the depths of what I am feeling, notes of grace for me. Such signs will always be of personal encouragement as that is how God loves us. His Word is filled with exhortations of how He wants us to rest in the shelter of his wings. It is where He can give us the gift of himself and the assurance that He, who is mighty, can honor us with a feather of help pulled from his abundance. Such a feather will do just fine.

I Find Your Love
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Lyrics: Beth Nielsen Chapman
Performed by Beth Nielsen Chapman

Lynn's photo of feathers she holds close in heart


  1. AMAZING GRACE! I was told by God that IF I stand in a place of gratitude, HIS GRACE will flow to me and through me in my time of grief/mourning! AND it has been so! I am SO very grateful for YOU dear Lynn for giving us this gift of GRACE on Mother's day, may GOD bless MANY through your words. . . and through this song! AMEN!

    1. Bless you, sweet cousin for letting me share your story in this post. The thoughts for it began and were going in a good direction. Then I remembered the blessings of the eagle God sent you and I swooped in to ask you if I could incorporate what has now become the core of the entry.

      Amazing grace - always the gift in finding Him and dwelling in the shelter of His presence.

      Love - Lynn xo

  2. Thank you for this beautiful posting, Lynn. I am a friend of Teri's and the mother of a precious daughter in heaven. I hope that your telling of this story will bring encouragement to many. God bless you and all of your family!

    1. Thank you, Karen.

      Teri has spoken of you to me and what a dear friendship you both share.

      I am so appeciative of your stopping by and letting me know that you did. An extra hug to you on Mother's Day and may God send you a "feather" from that precious one of yours that He now holds close.

  3. I love this story, Lynn. I won't look at feathers the same way again. God leaves behind special fingerprints of his evidence. May I always be looking!

    1. Thanks, Lisa - yes, I like how you express His graces as "fingerprints" for truly they are! I plan to keep looking, too. It takes a special focus but that is my plan!

    2. Lisa! Yes, yes, yes!!! "God leaves behind special fingerprints of his evidence." I love that! God bless this thought you shared.

  4. Lynn - This left me dumbfounded. On my computer desk, taped up in a rag tag manner are small, white feathers of various types that I have collected over the years. A chapter in my book about Jamie talks about the way feathers ministered to me - culminating in a whole flock of birds when I tearfully sobbed out to God that I needed more than a feather ..... He gave exceedingly abundantly more. Thank you for reviving that memory for me. The story is so touching. I appreciate beyond words that you shared it.
    Much love,

    1. deni - I appreciate beyond words reading of your experience with "feathers" at that great time of need as you faced all that surrounded Jamie's death.

      What a privilege it was to write this entry and watch it unfold. Now I know why God directed it in that manner as I see your comments and those of others. Wow - it is rather overwhelming to me in a good and mysterious way.

      Much love back -

  5. Beautiful words Lynn. I'm so glad I saw your FB page today and saw the link to this blog. I'm now following it and look forward to seeing what God gives you to share with us.
    Love you, dear friend. Miss you! Wish I was able to be online more and keep up with all of my friends but.... God is good and I know He is in control. I just received a text message from Kevin's cousin (also a life long friend of mine) saying that her daughter had been finally taken in to be induced after a couple of days of waiting at the hospital and being sent home at the end of the day because they were too busy to induce her. It seemed appropriate to me to read the text of new life about to begin in the next hours just after reading your blog post. God's life cycle never ends.

  6. Heather - I am so elated you found "me" here. Welcome. I know you have been limited in your means to be online to connect with many of us, but you are ever close in heart and prayer. That you got of FB and came here - wow - what a blessing to me and your comments are a blessing, too.

    God's grace is always with us during whatever cycle of life we are going through. It is a comfort to know that and to experience it.

    I saw that you did sign up to be a "follower" and to be support of my blog. However, to get an email notice so you know when an entry is posted, do go to that "email" box below that section and put in your address. Any new entry will then come to your mailbox!

    Much love to you my friend!

  7. teary eyed here as I comment on this beautiful journal entry and the song is so inspiring...

    blessings of Peace & HOPE to you,

  8. Thank you, Belle - blessings back to you ( with a few tissues ).

  9. Hi Lynn, Thank you for introducing yourself to me over at my blog and "following" my future posts. I'm so glad we "met" as I can tell we are kindred spirits already, and you are an incredible writer. I aspire to write as creatively as you do but not sure it will ever happen, unless you want to give me some lessons :)

    This post about was very touching and thanks for reminding me how soothing and reflective Beth Nielsen Chapman's music can be. Music always speaks to my soul. I also enjoyed the post where you married scripture with John Denver's lyrics to "Perhaps Love." Love that song and reminders of His love in scripture.

    And, yes, I need to dry some of these beautiful hydrangeas. Thank you for reminding me to do that.

    So I'm joining the chorus ...

  10. Lori - welcome!

    What a nice surprise that you found me. We can thank Lisa for that! I was just looking at the gift book ( my copy) that you gave to her. So inspiritng.

    Thank you for all your wonderful comments. I am blessed to know that my writings touched your soul. There were some soul touches I received at your blog so do know you are also writing to bless others and it is coming through.

    Ah, Beth Nielsen Chapman is such a favorite of mine - talk about a soul toucher! I love her lyrics and music and this particular song fit so well with the intent of my message.

    I am elated to have you joining the chorus over here. Drop by anytime!

  11. Sooooo beautiful Lynn!!! No more words that I can find! Lotsoluv Kerryn

    1. Thank you, Kerryn.

      I was pretty much in awe of how God brought these words together, myself!


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