This blog’s focus is God’s care that nourishes and strengthens through times of joy and times of challenge. He wants all of his creation to sing knowing that, ultimately, He desires that we trust him.
Some postings are my devotionals for Rest Ministries, an online Christian site for those facing challenges. Others are are new writings I feel inspired to share with you.
I pray that as you join me, you will find reasons to sing along.
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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