My paternal grandmother was the oldest of four surviving children; three girls, one boy. She grew up in Wisconsin on a farm just down the road from her grandparents. She was gentle spirited, wise, selfless, and absolutely loved.

Gram had the timeless quality of a classic grandmother: white hair, glasses, an expression that spoke love and tenderness, an apron often around her waist, and a fierce devotion to Gramps.

Gram and Gramps

If she was lucky, she may have stood 5’2″, but her presence in a room could make anyone feel welcome. It has been ten years since she has been gone, twenty years since Gramps passed.

When they moved off the farm into town, the kitchen windows looked out on the front yard and four or five very large maple and cottonwood trees. Gram loved birds, especially songbirds, so Gramps set up bird feeders so she could watch them as she washed dishes.

One of her favorites was the finch. It was not until we moved to our property that I finally understood why. We have goldfinches who sing in the trees and their bright yellow color flashes against the green leaves of our trees in the summer. Their song is light and cheerful and encourages a sense of hope.

Of course.

The bird is much like Gram, diminutive in size, but not in spirit, full of joy and encouragement. The male’s feathers are her favorite color, yellow.

American Goldfinch

The wonderful song it sings, the joy it brings, the sense of hope it stirs, are the kinds of experiences that come from the Holy Spirit. As I have watched the birds in my trees I have been thinking this same thought again and again.

I had been so focused on how it has been described as powerful. I had forgotten that the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. In the weeks I have been home, it has been the Holy Spirit, working in the background, bringing me peace and hope.

Best Beloved, where are you today? Are you spending time trying to push and shove situations into the shape of your choosing? Are you seeking a powerful presentation, when what is needed is a gentle touch? Maybe it’s time to go on a walk in a your neighborhood, your back yard, or a nature preserve. Allow the songs in the trees to draw you closer to the Comforter you need.

Just as a gentle touch turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1) it is good to allow the Holy Spirit to cover you gently and draw you to your Heavenly Father, who also sings (Zephaniah 3:17).



About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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