Saturday, May 24, 2014


Spirit Feather, Jamestown, NC

Memorial Weekend, 2014

This small feather slowly drifted in the morning sunlight recently as I sat on a bench in my backyard. It glided to a peaceful rest at my feet and I rather unconsciously picked it up. It certainly wasn’t a gaudy loud object demanding my attention, but nevertheless it did fully capture my imagination. I’ve kept it at my work station ever since as a gentle reminder of the spiritual presence that we coexist with every day. There are folks out there who say that God actually speaks to them at times. I wouldn’t dispute that, but I’m not certain that I’ve ever actually engaged in an active two way conversation myself. However, I am certain that there are many ways to commune with our God. The Psalmist instructs us to be still for openers. It’s difficult to converse with anyone in the midst of our busy and noisy world today. And it’s equally difficult to communicate with someone until you have their undivided attention.

I would venture that we’ve all been in a circumstance at some time where an enlightened sixth sense captured our complete attention. I’ve always been drawn to the opening scene of the Forrest Gump movie where a feather is lightly floating in the air around Forrest in a provocative way that gives it ethereal life. I suppose that’s easier to pull off in the movies with today’s animation, but I’ve witnessed it in real life too. It’s not common for us to see a white feather or a single crimson leaf lightly gliding along in the breeze and gently landing at our feet. Especially when it curiously seems to possess something more than you would expect from an inanimate object. And then there’s the butterfly in the middle of the day or a firefly at night landing on our arm while we’ve paused life in a park or our backyard. These are very animated and real creatures that again seem to possess some mysterious attribute that only our sixth sense can discern. People throughout the ages have considered these events as signs of loved ones letting us know that all is well on the other side. The flight of feathers, fireflies and butterflies personify spiritual beings. Since we can’t always be sure of the source, perhaps it is our Heavenly Father who is assuring us that He is ultimately in control on both sides of the thin veil.

There are other events that capture our attention as well such as a colorful rainbow after a storm, brilliant new creations of sunrise beginnings, peaceful sundown reminders of rest, a warm snow melt after a long winter, the sun’s diagonal rays breaking through scattered dark clouds, a refreshing morning shower in the midst of a drought, the wind gently moving and singing through pine needles, and of course, created new life revealed through children and grandchildren, puppies, foals, and flower blossoms.

These symbols of hope are signs of God’s presence and reminders that our Creator is beginning a conversation with us. And they prompt us to consciously pause life to begin relational communication that can sustain and nurture us as we continue our journey.

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