< Has it really been two months? So many words to spill! >
Did you remember to be grateful? So much hustle and bustle over the holidays. We race around, more frantic and angrier as the clock ticks closer to December 25th. Somewhat juxtaposed. This year I wanted to uncomplicate my life and I found a special way to give thanks … with the help of my friends and community, we gave 31 women and children in a Women’s Shelter a wonderful Christmas.
For me, I didn’t want much. A Christmas post I saw on Facebook nailed it … The older I get, the more I realize that the most important things can’t be bought.
Family – Friends – Love – Health – Happiness – Faith
I realized how truly blessed I am, and I wanted to make sure that others in less fortunate situations were taken care of. That – to me – is the true meaning of celebrating Jesus.
Faith is something many of us struggle with – or never struggled with one way or the other. Believe or don’t believe. The journey that I have been on for the last 7 years has, as you have seen in my writing, changed my views. Some of you asked how I could be so sure. And I did what a wise man told me to do.
I asked God.
I remember the day vividly. I had been in to see the Doc on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 and told him of my struggles to bring all of my beliefs together in a nicely logical view. I wanted answers or places where I could look for answers. He told me to ask God. I pondered this as I drove home. As I stepped out the side door to walk the dogs, I told God that I wanted a sign, a specific sign. And if I received that sign, I would not question my faith in God ever again.
I promptly forgot my request, went out with my single girlfriends for a few drinks and a night of dancing. The evening lasted until the wee hours – too much fun! Race to the office the next morning for meetings, a farewell lunch for a colleague and some online education. Feeling a teeny bit tired and deflated, I left early. I had some shopping to do before Friday evening of beach volleyball with friends.
Something – or someone – was drawing me home. Each time I thought of something I had to do away from home, responsibility to the dogs called me home.
I took them out for a walk, following our usual path. It was a hot 30C summer afternoon. The second I stepped onto the street, the light changed. “We weren’t meant to go this way,” I said to my two dogs.
Due to the location, light and traffic patterns, I don’t often end up on the southwest corner of this intersection, but today I was drawn there. It was preordained. I felt it. I felt the calling at a very deep and subconscious level.
We crossed and Carly, my chocolate lab, stopped to sniff something. It was a very young hatchling, barely 6 days old. I knelt down to pick him up and he immediately opened his mouth to feed. A faint peep came out. He was alive! I scooped him up and stood there with two curious dogs, wondering what to do. Snapped a photo posted it to Facebook, begging for advice “What do I do with him?”
I took him over to my vet’s office for advice, and they said Shades of Hope was the only wildlife sanctuary in the area – an hour’s drive north in Pefferlaw, Ontario. Clutching the paper the vet’s receptionist had given me, I called their telephone number.
Explaining that the baby bird was very young, I asked if there was much hope for him? They told me that if I could get him there, they would care for him – advice of what to do and what not to do. I realized that the only hope this little guy had was if I could get him north. So I made the decision to drive him on a hot Friday afternoon with the cottage crowd. I packed him up in a box for the trip, ran back in twice for the address and number.
I turned the car north and settled in for a drive up Lakeridge Rd. Some inspirational music for the ride and the A/C on, I picked up my baby bird to make sure he was warm enough. And that’s when it hit me. Incredulous. Not twenty-four hours before, I had given God a very specific request to prove his existence.
I had asked for a bird to land in my hand.
At the time, I envisioned the lively little birds by Lynde Shores fluttering in for some seed. When I asked, I absentmindedly figured I should take the dogs there for a hike the following week. However, what we ask for doesn’t always show up how we envision our request. That is decided by God. But, of course, there would be a rescue involved for me!
Stunned. I couldn’t believe it. That was my specific request. A bird in my hand.
Tears. Shock. Elation. Wonder. Then fear.
“You can’t kill this helpless baby bird just to send me a message!” I railed at God through my tears. A raging storm of tears.
We made it to Shades of Hope in fifty minutes. It’s a good thing I had decided to bring him up, my baby bird was injured. He impaled himself on a splinter – either falling from the nest or dropped by a hawk – and was bleeding on his abdomen. They assured me it was superficial. He was a sparrow. They gave me a number so I could call and track his progress. I gently touched his head, whispered a prayer and left him in their capable hands.
It was days before I could bring myself to inquire about his well-being. I told myself that I had to have faith that God would care for this bird. And He did. My little hatchling was doing fine! Eating well and in the nursery with other baby sparrows! Almost four weeks later he was released with his new flock. He is still out there, I am sure.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I know God is there, and He listens.
Everyone will view my experience differently. Coincidence. Luck. Fate. Guessing. Faith. But I know what I experienced in terms of feeling and understanding. And I have no doubt that He is there, listening. This, I no longer question.
Would you live your life differently if you knew for sure there was a God? This thought shapes who I am daily.