Lenten Devotional- Day 17

Friday, March 6

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.

Signs and Wonders

Gayle Lines passed away in 2014 and is dearly missed. She was my mother’s best friend, and I looked up to her like a grandmother. Gayle lived down the street and would mosey up to my house every time I made a visit home. Gayle was silly; she called her red truck “Clifford” and washed it in the rain. She was fun; she attended a yearly costume party completely in character: the Phantom of the Opera, a 1920’s Olympic swimmer, a dancer. She loved being involved with the local community theatre, volunteering with the Girl Scouts, water aerobics, and singing in her church choir. She kept herself busy and because of that she always had a good story to tell.


Gayle also loved birds, especially beautiful red cardinals. As the story goes, shortly after her husband passed away, she noticed a cardinal while sitting out on her porch. She often sat on her porch, played solitaire, and talked to the neighbors. Ever since that first visit from the cardinal, whenever she would go outside and give a little whistle, the bird would come and sit on the telephone wires. When she walked to my house and we stood outside, her cardinal would appear. No doubt, there was some sort of special connection between Gayle and her cardinal. The cardinal meant so much to Gayle because she associated it with her late husband. It was a sign of hope, a reminder that no matter how lonely, she was never alone. The bird was a calming, trusted presence.


In “Practicing the Presence,” a meditation group that meets regularly at The Church of the Good Shepherd, our leader refers to these experiences as signs and wonders. Occasionally we are to consider such signs and wonders, and I often think of Gayle. Just as the bird was to Gayle, she was to me a sign of hope, a reminder that I am never alone, and a calming and trusted presence. I don’t have a cardinal to remind me to embrace life, and I no longer have Gayle. However, I was given the wind chimes that hung on her porch. When I hear the chimes, I picture Gayle on her porch playing cards. It is a beautiful blue sky day, and she gives a little whistle for the bird. Just as the cardinal lands on the wire, a gentle wind blows and she hears the chimes. She smiles, and for that moment of her life, and now for that moment in my life, everything is okay.


Marla Stone, COGS


Prayer: Each person leaves behind a legacy. Stay involved, stay hopeful, and be a calming and trusted presence. Do good things…it’s worth it. You will help someone and in turn, you will feel good.