My fingers have remained "silent" for a while since I last posted. There have been several attempts to fashion something for this space; they were all deleted because they were "just not right". Remember I promised that I would not post until I heard God say "go" and I was not hearing it - until tonight. This is a post I thought I was going to save for later but it became obvious to me that tonight was the time to share it with you.
On May 22, 2011 - just 11 months ago I found myself sitting in a large arena awaiting the start of the ceremony that would mark our daughter's graduation from college. I had been up since 3:36 am after receiving the phone call I never wanted to get, telling me that my beloved had "passed". I had seen him the night before and although we knew the time was close there were no real indications that it was that close so I felt comfortable going home with the plan in mind that I would return first thing in the morning to visit before going to the ceremony. I did return first thing in the morning - but for a different reason and a different type of visit.
Upon entering the arena and finding a seat I was able to keep myself composed but was pleading with the Lord constantly to" just give me enough strength to get through this please".
As the seats around me began to fill I was in "fog" and was so glad to see that I was not surrounded by couples but women who for reasons unknown to me were alone. The two who were sitting on either side of me perhaps felt my "aloneness" and gently led me into conversation and I eventually shared with them that my husband had passed just a few hours previously and gladly shared about him and our daughter as they shared details about their graduates with me.
As we were talking we noticed at the front of the arena that there appeared to be a bird who had gotten "lost" inside the vastness and was flying around. It wasn't causing any problems - it was just flying around up in the high seats and periodically perching up there like it was waiting with the rest of us for the ceremony to start.
Once the graduates processed in and the music stopped after they were seated this bird started to fly again - and came and landed directly in front of me! I was stunned to see that it was a very small, delightful little sparrow! It stayed there for a couple of minutes looking at me and then flew off to the area where my daughter was sitting and then flew directly over her head. The Chaplain got up to give the opening prayer - a message from Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord - plans for a hope and a future - plans for good. How appropriate. How comforting. During his message the sparrow flew into the high seats and waited patiently. Then came back down when he was done and flew over my daughter's head again - and continued to do so throughout the entire ceremony. And then she walked onto the stage to receive her diploma with the announcement of Magna Cum Laude! My heart soared! Tears of sorrow were mixed with tears of joy at that moment. As she returned to her seat the bird flew down over her head yet again.
Now perhaps others would say "Well, it was just a bird that got stuck inside" - I say differently for this reason - my beloved husband had a special place in his heart for the little sparrows. He spent many winter hours in his basement shop building bird houses just for the sparrows saying that since Jesus felt they were important he did too and they would always have a place in our yard to nest and care for their young. We spent a lot of happy hours watching them do so.
It was no accident that this little sparrow came to visit that day and it was no accident that the scripture for the day was Jer29:11. God sent a sparrow and inspired a Chaplain to give me comfort on a most difficult day.
As I was sitting there I realized that I would not be able to go to the care center with pictures and an account of the ceremony to share with my husband - but then I also realized I didn't have to - he had a front row seat - right from heaven!
As we come into a season of graduations, weddings and proms and other special events be mindful of the day God sent the sparrow to comfort this widow. He will send something to comfort you as well. Lean on Him, trust Him and know you are so very loved by Him.