My Grandma Mary was one of the sweetest and godliest people I have ever known. She was not loud and vocal. She was a quiet little lady that loved to crochet and knit. My Grandpa Bob was the loud, bold, and boisterous world changer that always had an urgency about him to do the next thing. So much so that he could barely visit you before he was on to the next adventure! And there was my grandmother. Sweetly following him about everywhere he went with her Bible, crochet bag, and her little tidbits of wisdom that stuck to you like glue.
She would say things to me like, “Alicia, you must always learn to bloom where you are planted.” And she lived this as she lived in multiple states following her husband around in the ministry. She would also say, “Honey, don’t live through things twice. If it is going to happen, no need in wasting a lot of time worrying. That way, if it doesn’t happen, you haven’t wasted time worrying.” I know she struggled with worrying so I am sure this message had been preached to herself long before it reached me.
She also loved red birds. Her little kitchen always had them in it. Her curtains, the runner that went across the top of her deep freezer, and figurines of these birds always caught my eye. Grandma went home to be with the Lord years ago, and since then, every time I would see a red bird I would have a warm spot in my heart thinking of my Grandma Mary.
As my children were growing up, they learned that I had a love for these red birds. I would always call their attention to them. “Look kids! There is a red bird!” And so the children would start saying, “Momma!! Come look! There is a red bird!” It has been a sweet connection for us and my love for all birds…but especially red birds!
Not long after I had become paralyzed, I was having a particularly horrible day. Physically I felt awful. Emotionally I felt drained. Spiritually I felt betrayed. I decided that God forgot who I was, where I lived and that He did not care about me. I felt like every prayer I was praying just kind of floated around the room and God was not hearing…or answering them! I was terribly discouraged.
From my bed, I could look out of one window. Out of that window you could see a dumpster that was located between our house and a neighboring furniture store. I thought how appropriate that dumpster matched my mood!
I prayed again. I said, “God, I feel like you don’t care about me anymore. I feel like you do not hear my prayers. I feel like you forgot where I live and who I am. PLEASE be real to me today!”
I kid you not, within 5 minutes I heard a bird singing. I looked at my window and sitting right on the window sill was a little red bird just singing its heart out! I KNEW God sent that little bird to me. That bird was God’s messenger that said,”Alicia, I not only know who you are and where you live, but I know where your bedroom window is!”
That was exactly what the Great Physician knew my heart needed. I still felt awful physically. I still had a LOT to deal with emotionally. But spiritually, my soul was fine!
That day taught me a lesson and also gave me a new intense love for birds. They truly are God’s messengers that greet me in the dark, early morning hours when I am in a tremendous amount of pain. They sing and remind me to sing my praises…even in the darkness. They catch my ear in waiting times when I am not able to engage in some activity that others are doing. They remind me to take the alone time to sing out to my Creator and join them in rejoicing as part of His creation. They pull my mind back from the crevices of self-pity reminding me that God cares for the sparrows and how much more He cares for me.
This is my love for birds…and especially the red bird.
When you see my Facebook friends send me pictures of red birds, you know why. They have heard my story and now red birds bring them the same message. When you see a red bird, sing to the Lord and thank Him for sending you His messenger to let you know you are loved by a good God!
*A special thank you to those of you who have given me red bird items. Key chains, pictures, personal note cards, and many other items. These mean SO much to me and are daily reminders in my home of your love for me.