Today I was checking Facebook, and my 7-year-old noticed that my cover photo is a cardinal sitting in a tree. So he asked me, "Mom, why do you like cardinals so much?"
So I told him.
And even though I have posted this before, years ago, I will tell you too... because someone needs to be reminded today that God is right here with us.
The Cardinal Story
When my mom was dying from cancer, we had many good talks. We talked about heaven, and how she knew she was going there. After one of those talks, I went into my room and prayed. I asked God to please send me a cardinal when she died to reassure me the she was in heaven; that she was all right.
My mom died about a month later. And during her visitation, I was amazed to see a little cardinal nestled in the flower arrangement on her casket. I hadn't told anyone about my prayer, and we hadn't asked for a cardinal to be included in the flowers. I considered that an answer to my prayer. So I shared the story with my brother, hoping it would be an encouragement to him as well. But he said, "You asked God for a real cardinal. It doesn't count."
The next day we were getting ready for her funeral. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I heard my brother calling out to me. I ran into the family room, and he pointed out to our backyard. There, in the tree my mom had planted, were two cardinals! My brother looked at me and said, "Look! You only asked for one... but God sent me one too!" Even though he is not yet a Christian, I was so thankful that he was able to be comforted some by the God that I know loves him very much.
To this day, when I see a cardinal, I feel as if it is a message from God just for me. A reminder that He is there... that He is with me... and that everything is going to be all right.