From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times
Eye to Eye
By Judi Folmsbee
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
The sun felt warm on my face that day. With autumn in full swing, leaves of every shade of orange, yellow, and purple surrounded me in our backyard. Neighboring fields, lawns, and porches displayed big orange pumpkins. The temperature was just right to work in the yard. I tore out the tomato and pepper plants from our raised bed garden. Even though many were still growing, summer was over for me. I decided to take a break and sat down on the bench in our yard by the Memorial Stone in memory of my husband, Rick. It’s my favorite place to talk to him. Fourteen months earlier, he had died suddenly from a heart attack.
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We enjoyed our beautiful backyard, especially in the fall. Rick always felt at home there. He would often say, “I don’t need to take a vacation and go somewhere; I can do it right here.”
As I sat there in the glorious sunshine, thinking about the anniversary we wouldn’t be celebrating in November, memories of our almost thirty-nine-year marriage flooded over me. A penetrating loneliness wrapped around me, bringing an unexpected sob. Even though it had been more than a year since Rick’s death, his absence was still hard to handle. Once again, I asked, “God, why did you take my best friend and wonderful husband? If only you could give me some assurance that Rick is in heaven.” Since Rick was a devoted Christian, I knew in my head he was with the Lord, but my heart ached. I felt so alone and insecure.
I tried to remember all the things we used to do. Rick had positioned a hummingbird feeder behind the bench where I was sitting. We loved to watch the hummingbirds buzz through our yard. They would race after each other as if playing tag, releasing little chirp-chirp sounds. We called it Hummingbird Wars.
There aren’t any hummingbirds still around, I thought. They have migrated to a warmer place.
Just then, a hummingbird came right up to my face, eye to eye. It got so close, I was startled at first. It hovered in front of me, weaving back and forth, with its eyes staring right into mine. “Thank you, Rick,” I said, and the hummer took off.
The hummingbird was God’s answer to my prayer and a way for Rick to let me know he was okay. The sun suddenly seemed even more glorious.
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