Monday, October 28, 2013

Of Sparrows and Black Purses and the Hair on Your Head

For about two weeks I had been searching for a new black handbag to replace the fairly old one that was wrecked last season.

I knew what I wanted: a slim purse with a pocket for keys, etc.; short strap so that it wouldn't weigh my poor shoulder down; it had to be elegant and leather. I found nothing: of course there were lovely handbags, but completely out of my price range. I tucked the purse shopping thoughts firmly into the back of my head and boarded the plane for Chicago.

The morning of the wedding we were attending dawned cool and clear. I was fretting because my hair, which I am trying to grow out, wasn't working at all. As I sat in the breakfast nook by myself after a delicious baked oatmeal breakfast, prepared with such love by the exquisite Mrs Shoaf, I heard a thud in the next room. Hurrying over to the window, I saw that a sparrow had hit the window and was now lying motionless.

As I stood there helplessly, Pastor Shoaf walked by and saw the direction of my gaze. "It's happened several times before," he remarked.

I remained on guard, and suddenly the little thing's chest puffed out and its feet started to quiver. Its head had not moved, however, and its eyes remained shut. I didn't know what to do: I thought wildly of dropping a brick on its twisted neck and putting it out of its misery: I thought of trying to flip it over to see if that would help it; and I realized that because of my paralysing fear of birds, the only thing I could do was ask God to put the tiny quivering thing out of its misery as fast as possible.

About 20 minutes passed. And suddenly - just when I was debating whether it would be frivolous to call Dad, who was getting ready to speak at the wedding that afternoon - the little sparrow opened its eyes, flipped over, and was gone in a flutter of wings!

I told the Shoafs and Dad, my heart pulsing with gratitude. Shortly after this, Mrs Shoaf took me to a drug store to buy a gift bag - we had just a few minutes. The bag was the easiest thing to choose; but just down the aisle from the card section, I spied something sparkling on a shelf. Like a magpie I darted toward it, and my eyes lighted on a package of sparkly bobby-pins - just the thing to tame the unruliness of my hair ...

And then at the wedding itself, a wonderful encounter: one of my dear childhood friends, Naomi, was also attending. We hadn't seen each other for 30 years!

Naomi and me - and the sparkly barrette!
We met again later at the reception, and Naomi handed me a large gift bag: "I wanted to get you some little thing ..." she said.

Trying to be polite, I placed the bag under the table, opening it only when we returned to the Shoafs' home that evening after the reception.

Inside was a cute collection of four Norman Rockwell mugs; a stylish "tea-for-two" set; and a black handbag.

A gorgeous black handbag.

Exactly the handbag I was looking for.

I showed it to Dad and Pastor and Mrs Shoaf.

Pastor S summed it up: "The sparrow ... the hair on your head ... the black handbag. I think God cares about you!"

Here's the childhood song we would sing together as little girls, my friend Naomi and I:

(Video found on YouTube, created by CelestinoZ)

1 comment:

  1. Love it when we acknowledge God's little "winks " ... Such a great story


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