Sometimes God answers a question you didn’t even know to ask.
I closed my prayer with the silent request, “Speak to me, Father.”
As I waited in stillness, as my selected music video from my favorite YouTube pianist played, I was distracted by an intermittent chirp. I listened closely; was it the smoke detector calling my attention to a dying battery? The chirp was not that distinct so, no, not the smoke detector.
The chirp continued and I could not ignore it. I got up from my chair and followed its call. I walked over to the front window to stand and listen.
“Chirp, chirp, chirp.” Is it a cricket in the house and if so, how did it get in? I’m in California where crickets in this neck of the woods are rare. I shuddered at the thought of having to chase down a cricket.
I pulled back the curtains to look out the window and there it was, a small bird on the walkway that leads to the front steps of the house. It pecked away at kernels of something and in between pecks it chirped. I stood there, watched it and mused that a bird which could fly chose to walk on the ground to forage for food.
My bird thoughts were interrupted by part of a scripture I had not thought of in years, “…if I take care of a two cent bird…” I could not remember all of the scripture but in that moment God reminded me of His care for me. He used a small bird that has no means other than to trust that when it looks for food, food will be found, even if it means taking a walk on concrete rather than soaring in the air.
The bird eventually walked away from the front of the house to cross the street. As I watched it, I realized that once I walked to the window to discover God’s feathered messenger, the chirps stopped though the bird remained in place for a few minutes. God got me to where He wanted me to be, to “hear” his message in the form of that tiny bird.
I returned back to my chair. As I sat, I glanced at the computer and the bible text from Mark 11:24 was on the screen. I had paid no attention to the screen during my prayer time so I was not expecting a scripture. I laughed as I read the text and thanked God for the period on His word to me through a little bird.
Mark 11:24 — “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.“
Luke 12:6, 7 — “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.“
My friend texted me about her mother’s condition as she battles COVID. My heart sank as I read the text but, as life usually does, I was distracted by my plans and I did not respond right away. As I scrolled through my tests, two days later, my friend’s text popped up to remind me I had not responded.
Rather than type out my prayer response, I tapped the microphone icon to pray out loud. I needed to hear my voice as I shared it with my friend. What surprised me, as I prayed, was the tender tone of my voice. It was gentler than usual. This epiphany gave me pause to think about the tone of my voice as I’ve “encouraged” others in the past.
What I heard today was my heartbeat in that prayer, a precious moment of heart connection with my friend as I felt her heartache as she watched her mother struggle to breathe, as she realizes there is nothing she can do but cry out to God for His intervention.
I’ve probably always known this but have not really thought about the heart to heart connection of prayer. I remember the elders of my past who prayed that we would have love that ran from heart to heart, from breast to breast. Prayer links us to the hearts of those for whom we pray.
Also, sometimes we are so focused on the prayer that we miss God’s heartbeat in our prayers. Prayer is not just a vocal expression but it also a moment of a linking of hearts, a moment of sensing God’s heartbeat in our prayers and in hearing His heartbeat, we feel their heartbeat, their heartache, their struggles, their brokenness.
I heard God’s heartbeat this morning. I heard it in my prayer as my heart linked to the heart of my friend.
Psalm 69:13 –
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
I was going through some old pictures last week when I came across one I had not seen in some time.
Someone decided to bend the top portion, perhaps to put into a wallet, I don’t know.
I thought, “I will have to get it restored because of that crease that runs right through the face of the person in the photo.”
It is a picture of my grandmother. She died in 1964. It is the only picture I have of her, full body.
I loved my grandmother. I still think of her often. My sister and I lived with my grandparents for three years.
It was the country and the living was neither easy (for them) or fancy.
I loved it, was not even mindful of what they did not have.
I just loved being there, being with them.
Well, more my grandmother more than my grandfather who was rather taciturn and rarely interacted at any length with us kids.
My grandmother was not beautiful. She was not pretty. I’m not sure you would even call her handsome.
I see that now. I did not see that then.
I only saw her, only heard her laughter, enjoyed the food she cooked, especially the steak and gravy with rice or those fat red sausages served for Sunday breakfast after Grandpa’s Saturday trip to the market.
They lived in the country with very few modern conveniences.
No indoor plumbing, no electricity or gas, chickens on the yard, wood stoves, tin roof, well water.
I do not remember ever being bored.
This picture takes me home.
After all, home is where the heart is.
All these years later, my heart is still her home!
I go to bed with the same man every night.
The same man.
I climb into bed.
I turn him on and eventually I turn my back on him.
I fell in love with him last year.
I cannot get enough of him.
He is not my man.
But I go to bed with him every night.
No, he is not my man.
He belongs to another woman.
He would be nothing without her.
No one would know his name were it not for her.
She is responsible for his style and all those eccentric mannerisms that I find so endearing.
Yes, I go to bed with him every night.
Although he belongs to another woman.
Who grew to despise him.
But I like him . .. . a lot.
And every night . . .
Yeah, you know . . .
What’s his name?
Yep, that’s right, Agatha Christie’s man from Belgium.
That figment of her imagination.
brought us together.
All thirteen seasons!
Until boredom do us part.