God's reminders of His love and Presence can delight and refresh us like the appearance of a beautiful butterfly, but His HUGS can be more dramatic!
After a long three-and-a-half-year "desert experience" of underemployment, God opened a door to Moira's husband's long-lost dream of working with the poor in Africa. It was December 2001. In the process of downsizing, they had sold the home they loved. With just six weeks left till the closing date, their real estate agent found one for them to move into. Their new home had an unusual amount of cosmetic issues - seems like the previous owner was a fan of cut-out wallpaper flowers. As they removed it, they found nasty surprises, like holes in the wall with coloured wires inside them.
One day Moira's daughter was showering in the upstairs bathroom directly above the front entrance. Her Dad came through the door to water dripping through the freshly-painted ceiling on his head. To make things worse, mould was at the root of the problem! The building inspector had missed it. Well beyond just a cosmetic fix, this represented a costly overhaul, and left them in sinking despair. Had they made a terrible mistake?
The Lord's encouraging hug came in the most unusual offering. For 15 years, the birdcage (as seen in the video) was home to Moira's kitchen companion - a green singer finch that tweeted and whistled like a canary.
That morning, right after their dark moment of discovery, Sweetie interrupted her shock with an oratorio. Her voice lilted up and down, all over the melodic scale in a thrilling performance that just kept going.
Moira believes that the Lord ordered this remarkable distraction to get this message through to her: "Moira, get your eyes off the mould and onto Me!"
Dwelling on circumstances blocks His SON-light and casts a shadow on everything. Looking up to the Saviour lets His light in and brightens our perspective. The disaster was no surprise to Him:
"Jesus is able always to save those who come to God through Him because He always lives, asking God to help them" (Hebrews 7:25 NCV).
The building inspector returned, and refunded his fee. Their real estate agent was appalled and recommended legal action, but they soldiered on, and are still rescuing the needy house little by little.
They soon discovered that their "location, location, location" was priceless. The Bruce Trail became their playground. Their neighbours were no accident. The children's school was close, and eventually Richard and Moira both travelled here to the Crossroads Center for work --just five minutes away.
Sweetie outlived the normal life expectancy of a green singer finch. Never before, or after that mouldy misadventure, did she deliver a song like her oratorio for Moira.
"For a little bird might deliver your message…" from Ecclesiastes 10:20 could be the etymology of the title of this Hug from Heaven - A Little Bird told Me.
May the song in my heart be the encouragement you need right now:
"Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Saviour and my God!" (Psalm 42:5,6).