Cardinal


The hiddenness of God is often a challenge to our faith.  

Philip Yancey once wrote, "If we insist on visible proofs from God, we may well prepare the way for a permanent state of disappointment."  I find that statement a bit pessimistic.  I feel like that miracles are all around us all of the time--we just aren't paying attention.  

George Bernard Shaw once wrote: "Creation is a miracle of daily recurrence. 'A miracle a minute' would not be a bad slogan for God."

In the weeks leading up to my mom's passing, I had been praying fervently for God to miraculously "show up," and in a way, perhaps God did.  

When my parents moved into the house we all share in Texas, my mom fell in love with the idea of having multiple bird feeders in our back yard so she could bird-watch.  We positioned a variety of bird houses and bird feeders across from her living room windows where she could easily see them. 

Her favorite visitors were the few cardinals who would zoom in occasionally to make an appearance at one of her feeders.  "I saw a red bird today!" she would tell us later.  She almost never used the word "cardinal" to describe them. 

When we were sitting by my mom's bedside last week as she was slipping away from us, I looked out the window and saw a cardinal land on one of the feeders.  We all watched through tear-filled eyes as he sat on the feeder for a full five minutes.  

Someone later shared with us that, according to legend, cardinals often show up at times of distress to indicate the presence of the Divine.  

I have no idea whether that's true or not.  But I do know that we perceived our moment with the cardinal as a sign and symbol of God's presence.  

Maybe we're going about our petitions for God to become visible in the wrong way.  

I have come to believe that God is showing up in Creation all of the time, performing a "miracle a minute" and we need to be praying that our eyes will be opened to see where God is "showing up."   

May you have the eyes to see where God is made visible in the world around you.  May you find the miraculous in the ordinary, the mystical in the every day and may you feel God's presence all around you, all the time.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 





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