What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Last Farewell...Revisited 6-15-12 - Random Journal Day #12

6/15/12:  I was just thinking about this story this morning and thinking about how wonderful God's mercies and blessings are to us during times of need, grief, anxiety, etc.  The following stories are true examples of the fingerprints of God on my life...and how He chose to bless me through His creation...
I am going to post this as my Random Journal Day post for this week...it comes from my online journal written just a little over a year ago, following the passing of my father from this life to heaven...the event that took place at the very moment he was entering heaven's gates...A definite "God-wink" especially directed to comfort my heart...Read on....


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for "GoodBlogs.com" entitled "The Owls Whoooo Came to Comfort Me".  (See link below)  If you haven't read it yet, please read it now before you read the following story. (I have also posted a copy of the story at the end of this story in case you can't connect to this link)
 (UPDATE 11-24-15...THIS LINK IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE SO PLEASE GO DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE AND READ "The Owls Whoooo-Came to Comfort Me"  first...and then come back here and read the rest of the story.  I am removing the original link that was here since it leads to nowhere.  Pam)



And now I would like to share with you the most miraculous and amazing sequel to this story...

First of all, let me explain that I am not superstitious, nor am I an animalist, or one who believes that animals have a soul in the spiritual sense...but I DO believe that God can choose any way He pleases to comfort and show us His love and power...and that He alone knows the best way to reach into our hearts when we need it the most.  So, that being said, let me proceed with my tale.

Earlier this week I walked through the valley of the shadow of death with my dear sweet father, and had the sacred privilege of witnessing his spirit leaving his earthly body and being joined with Our Heavenly Father as he breathed his last breath. Not that I physically saw any visible manifestation of his soul departing his body, but I was there, along with my sister, holding his hands as the angels came to carry him away from our presence. Even though we knew he was more than ready to go after his 92 -plus long years on this old earth, it still hurt to let him go.  He was a wonderful father and a dear, dear Christian...but it was time to say good-bye. 

When the morticians arrived to take his body away from us I could not bear to stay in the house and watch them cover and carry him out of that door forever from our presence.  As I fled out to the back yard that had long ago been my childhood sanctuary, I cried out to God for some kind of sign that my Daddy was with Him and that he was okay.  At the very moment those words departed from my lips, there was a sudden swoosh of wings escaping up out of the thicket of bushes to my left and I was extremely startled to see the very familiar blur of brown spotted feathers emerge and fly up to the trees above me. I could hardly believe my eyes as there, staring right back down at me with his enormous brown eyes, stood a most beautiful Barred Owl...just like the ones that I often watched in my own back yard some thirty miles away.  (Again I refer you to the story mentioned above) 

Now I was really crying, "Oh Lord Jesus! How amazing! How marvelous! How wonderful You are! How so like You to do something so exactly perfect for me at this very moment!"  Only God could do something this miraculous.  You see, even though others had heard these owls calling in the night in this area, no one had ever actually seen one in my dad's yard before. God knew even before I called out in my grief to Him that He already had the perfect response to my cries.  It was as if this owl was sent directly to me as God's messenger of comfort for that special moment.  Thankfully my sister happened to have her camera nearby so we could capture this event to share with others.

As we stood there watching, the owl kept looking back at us, as if he was giving us a message of hope from another world.  I found myself rejoicing instead of crying, knowing that my father was truly with the Lord...and that even at that precise moment he was entering heaven's gates and being welcomed by my mother, his other loved ones who had gone on before, and most of all, by Jesus Himself. 

After a few minutes passed, the owl became a bit restless, as though he was anxious to be on his way.  We, too, realized it was time for us to move on as we had much to do to begin the work of notifying loved ones, and making arrangements for a funeral service.  Reluctantly we started to move away from this place of peace, and the owl flew ahead of us a little way and landed on another tree, and looked back at us as if to say, "Have no fear...I'm okay...I'm finally home..."
This was the last farewell as he flew away from our presence and departed to his other world...

Not once, but twice in the past several weeks, God used these beautiful creatures to bring me comfort and messages of hope and love when I needed it most.  You can call it coincidence if you wish, and you may even think I'm a little bit "touched"...and I will say, "Yes, I'm touched alright...touched by God's holy presence and His wonderfully, mysterious ways.  If that is being "touched', then I say, Thank you, dear Jesus, for touching me."  Amen.


Postscript:  I am adding a copy here of the original blog written prior to this on "Goodblogs" in case that link becomes broken in the future:


The Owls WhOOOO Came to Comfort Me

By Pamela M. Steiner | Apr 9, 2011 | 7
Lately I've been feeling a little blue.  You see, my Daddy is in the last stages of his life, and each day we know we are getting closer to his departure from this earth.  Even though my Dad is almost 93 years old and has lived a long and happy life, I am still reluctant to let him go.   There is a plethora of emotions running through my mind as I think about just what it truly means to say goodbye to my last living parent.  Oh, there is no doubt in my mind as to where he will spend eternity...and I believe with all my heart I will join him there someday. 
I guess the fact that is bothering me is that soon the home I grew up in will no longer exist as I once knew it.  Once my father is gone from this earth, his earthly home will be dismantled piece by piece and scattered to the four winds...(that being the homes of my three siblings and myself and our progeny...and anyone else who wants a memento of what once was the family estate).   The place where we have gathered as a family for the past fifty four years for holidays, birthdays and special celebrations will be sold to strangers who will quickly put their own personal stamp of character and design on a home that housed all my childhood memories and treasures, and what we once called home will cease to exist.  I find myself wondering if my siblings and our extended families will ever be together again once that silver cord is broken.
So it was with these kinds of feelings running through my mind tonight that I wandered out into my own yard to walk around and touch base with my true feelings. Suddenly I heard the familiar "Who who cooks for you?" call of our resident Barred Owl...calling to his mate to let her know he had come 'home' and was looking for her.  I looked up into the trees through the dusky light filtering through the leaves and saw the first owl land on a high branch...and then a few seconds later the other glided onto a tree nearby.  They both looked toward each other, but then they also looked down at me and sat there very still, pretending that they were hidden from my view.  So I sat down on my patio and waited to see what would happen next.  Once they felt comfortable enough with my presence there, the one owl flew over to the other, and sat right down beside her just as close as two fully grown owls could get to one another, and then they proceeded to snuggle right up to each other, with what appeared to me to be kissing and hugging and greeting each other as if they had been away for a long time. This went on for several minutes, and I stood there in awe as I witnessed their obvious joyous homecoming and sweet love for each other.  I found myself saying over and over again to myself, "How sweet! How marvelous!  How beautiful!"

Then the tears started to roll down my cheeks as I thought to myself..."That's just like 'Bill and Dorothea' (my parents' names)...and how happy they are going to be when Daddy finally enters heaven's gates.  My sweet mother has been waiting there patiently for him for five long years, and when he arrives with a hoot and a call, she will be waiting there with open arms and lots of kisses to welcome him...finally...home! 

And then an astounding thing happened... as I watched them continue to bill and coo with each other, suddenly they both opened their massive wings and silently flew off together to the big trees across the street from my house and out of my view.  But I was no longer feeling blue.  I felt such a sense of peace and joy and comfort, for I knew that my Dad was going "home" and his reunion with my mother would be so joyful...and one day, we too will have such a happy reunion ourselves. 

Lord, I thank you for the owls YOU sent to comfort me tonight.  It was a picture I will never forget...and when my Daddy finally gets his angel's wings and flies out of our sight, I know he will finally be at peace and at home with YOU and Mama. And I also know You will take care of the rest of us left behind...no need to worry about that anymore.  Thank you...and Amen.



I hope you enjoyed reading these true stories of how God ministered to my heart during that time of grief.  A few months ago we moved away from that home where our Barred Owl friends lived, and I have really missed my daily 'conversations' with them.  However, it helps me realize all the more that this was a special gift from God for a particular time of need in my life.  My current home has already blessed me with some new and interesting manifestations of God's grace and love...time will tell what other lessons He has in store for me there.  Oh, and by the way, we do occasionally hear some Barred Owls in the woods surrounding our new home...they just haven't allowed us to see them yet. 

Some of my other blogging friends are sharing their stories from the past on the Random Journal Day linkup.  Go to Beneath the Surface:Breath of Faith and check out the other stories for this week. You will be blessed I am certain!

Thanks for stopping by!


19 comments:

  1. Not a coincidence at all. Beautiful -- thanks for blessing us by sharing it.

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  2. It truly was a beautiful moment! Thank you Pam for your strong faith and trust in the one God Who watches over us all! ----I haven't seen that owl again since that morning--and I HAVE looked and listened-----I have named him BLESSING!
    Love you, Sis!

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  3. "Blessing"...what a perfect name for a perfect moment. Our God IS an awesome God!

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  4. Beautiful. I absolutely know that God gave you that moment of inexpressible comfort--from the comforter in the form of a winged creature. Sweet and familiar and unexpected. WOW. Praise Him.

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    1. Yes, it was unmistakably a gift from God at precisely the right moment. No coincidences with God. Thank you...I appreciate your thoughts on this. A year later it still brings healing and comfort to my soul.

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  5. Thank you again for bringing that amazing moment back---even if
    it did make me cry!!! I've been thinking about Daddy alot this week as I've been going through some of the memorablilia I have here--and, it being Father's Day weekend, just makes it more meaningful.
    God is so good at giving us His messages!

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    1. I am sorry to make you cry sis. It didn't even dawn on me when I reposted this today that this weekend is Father's Day. I guess that must be why this was on my mind...in my subconscious I was being drawn back to that day and my last memories of our final moments with Daddy. It was a precious time...and I am so thankful that you and I were able to share that time together. We have SO many good memories to share. We certainly were blessed to such a family. Love ya, my little Big Sister!

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  6. Have I really known you a whole year already? This seems so familiar, I must have read about it at GoodBlogs last year, amazing and still a beautiful story!

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    1. Yes, Susie, you were the one who introduced me to GoodBlogs! You and I were both going through similar times of grief and sorrow at the same time last year. I know it doesn't seem possible that it has even been a whole year, and yet we have come a long way since then in many ways. Thank you for being my sister in writing and faith for this past year...you have been a true blessing to me. :)

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  7. Wow. I can see why this is a good post for right now...Father's Day. Well, I am so grateful that you received these gifts of special love from God. For that is what they are. He speaks to us in these ways, these sweet creatures He's made... delivering them into our moments of pain, sadness to minister grace that cannot be spoken and remind us of our everlasting joy. I love the pictures too- I have never seen owls live in the day! Thank you for this sharing from your heart, journal and memory! Hugs. ;)

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    1. Thank you Dawn. Yes, it is really neat how God brings special things into our lives right when we need it most...that is what makes this walk of faith such an adventure...always something new on the horizon if we will just keep tuned in! Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy hearing from you!!!

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  8. Pam: This is such a refreshing read. My own dad has been gone three years. I found comfort in a feeling of going to a picnic where all the relatives had gathered, even my grandmother who died shortly after Dad was born. God sends us these moments to sustain us through times of sorrow. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts and memories with us.

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    1. What a beautiful picture of heaven...a lovely picnic with all the family and loved ones gathered together...yes, that would be like heaven to me too. We have so much to look forward to...it's so comforting how God gives us these glimpses now when we need to bridge that gap between here and there. Thank you for sharing that thought with me...I like that immensely!!!

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  9. what a wonderful story! indeed, God has many ways of consoling us during our times of grief and it's not just a coincidence!

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    1. Yes, Peggy, you are correct...I truly believe that there are NO coincidences with God. Everything that happens is for a purpose...to draw us closer to Himself...to teach us more about His unconditional love and mercy...to give us comfort from the most unexpected places...this is what it's like to be loved by our Heavenly Father. Thank you for dropping by and visiting with me. Have a blessed day!

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  10. Hi Sweet Lady - Just want to let you know that I have given you a blog award, come on by and pick it up!
    http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/2012/06/i-am-liebster-so-ive-been-told.html

    But I think I switched your blog name around the wrong way, sorry. I'll try to fix it soon.
    Susie

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    1. Thank you Susie!! I feel so humbled and honored by this award! Even though we don't write for the praise of men...it is always nice to know when we are appreciated and beloved!!! Thank you for passing on this blessing today.

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  11. Hello Pamela,
    I'm so happy you stopped by and introduced yourself! I just stopped by quickly to say Hello. I will have to come back later and read your post. I'm in a rush right now but I will be back! I have signed up to follow your blog. It's so nice to meet another sister in the Lord. Have a beautiful day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Thank you, Sandi! I am so excited to "meet" you here...and am looking forward to having a cup of tea with you later. Perhaps this evening I can send you my favorite teacup! I love that you are from Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables Country...be sure to read my post about "Kindred Spirits"...see the topical index to the right...I was named for Anne of Green Gables...Pamela ANNE (with an "e") Mursch is my maiden name. My mother gave me the middle name of Anne after Anne of G.G. because she loved reading her books so much, and I had red hair. (faded now with streaks of gray). We will "chat" later. Looking forward to getting to know another "Kindred Spirit", in more ways than one! God bless you Sister!!!

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