Monday, April 16, 2012


Two nights ago, we were having dinner with some new friends.  After dinner, their just-turned-one-year-old baby boy kept reaching out toward the center of the dining room table, like he wanted something.  There was a bottle there, so I handed it to him.  No interest, but he kept reaching.  I started handing him other things, but he just kept reaching.

I asked his mom, "What is he reaching for?"  And I was surprised at her answer.  And at the nonchalance of it.

"Oh, I think there's an angel in our kitchen.  He reaches out like that a lot, and sometimes I see feathers falling while I'm doing dishes."

She went on to tell us how feathers can often be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  How when she first heard about this phenomenon, she asked the Lord about it, and He reminded her of Psalm 91:4.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge."

She said that, for her, the small feathers are a reminder that God is seeing her, and that He is present.
I don't know if it's my childhood, my church background, my education, my chemical makeup, or just my personality.  But when I hear things like this, my initial reactions are ones of skepticism.  My tendency is to rationalize.  To reason.  To come up with a good, logical explanation.

But in the past month or so, that has begun to change.  Our boss (who is our pastor) has been pushing us (the church staff) to stretch our faith a bit more, to look into things that are unfamiliar for us, and to ask the Lord if He wants to teach us anything new.

Well.  If you've ever asked the Lord to teach you something new, you know the answer.  It's always yes.

So on my way home from this friend's house, I prayed.

"Lord, I want to have strong faith, and I want to walk in spiritual ways.  I don't want to test You, but I also don't want to just believe everything I hear.  If I have faith in something, I want it to be from You.  If making feathers appear is really something You do, will You do it for me?"

And here's what happened.

Yesterday afternoon, I was in my kitchen talking to a friend who is in the midst of a big, messy relational situation.  She is battling hopelessness, faithlessness, bitterness, and so many other things, and we were discussing it all.  And while we were talking, guess what just appeared in mid-air. 

{Insert Dora the Explorer awkward pause while we all wait for the kids to shout out the obvious answer here.}

You guessed it!  It was a tiny feather, and it just sort of floated out between us.  I caught a hold of it and it was small and brown and about the size of a fingernail clipping.

Now.  Here's what I could do.  I could fall on my face trembling and weeping before the Lord, thanking Him for His goodness and faithfulness and presence.  I could carry the feather around with me forever.  I could end up praying to the feather and I could trap it in a tiny glass case and charge my neighbors $5 to catch a glimpse of the relic.  You see where I'm going with this.

Or I could explain it away.  "Well, she probably sleeps on a feather pillow, so this feather was trapped in her shirt and when she gestured just now, the wind picked it up and shot it out toward me.  What a funny coincidence."

Or I could do this.  I could silently thank the Lord for reminding me that He is watching my friend.  That He continues to hold onto hope.  That He is working things out and keeping us safe under His wings in the meantime.  Then I could let the feather go.

Because, do you know what?  It doesn't matter to me whether the feather appeared out of thin air from an invisible wing in my kitchen or from a feather pillow.  The point is that I asked God for a feather and He gave it to me.  He knew it would remind me of Him.  That it would strengthen my faith.  That it would get my attention.  And after all that's really what our days are about anyway, aren't they?  Remembering God and pointing our attention to Him.

And do you know what else?  I've seen two more feathers today.


  1. anna joy, you are always just what I needed.

  2. This really made me think! I also typically respond with skepticism and then I find myself questioning what it is that prevents me from acknowledging the power of God. Thanks for reminding me never to underestimate Him!

  3. I will just say... GOD BLESS YOU! and THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS.
    I love this last sentence:
    "Remembering God and pointing our attention to Him"
    Greetings from the DR!!

  4. hmmm... that's pretty cool. I'm glad you are pursuing and seeking more of the Lord

  5. This is beautiful and beyond encouraging for me today. Thank you, sweet girl, for having the faith to ask for faith. And thank you for sharing.

  6. I posted this morning but it never seems to work :( But anyway, this is SO awesome! God can do far more than we can ask or imagine! I have a hard time with being skeptical sometimes too, but God loves surprising us :) Thanks for sharing this! May all of our faith increase as we testify His goodness!

  7. Feather are definately God signs. When I really tune into the spirit, I see God manifest everywhere. It's a beautiful story you shared with us all. Thank you.

  8. Feathers are definately God signs for me. I know when I am in tune with God, I see God' love for me and all of us in so many different vehicles. When my journey becomes an especially difficult climb, god will frequently send me a feather. It's like a love letter just for me. And now you too. Cool.