sparrows kit hinkle linda lint a widow's might widowhood birds during graduation God in my journey

God Sent A Sparrow

“Not one sparrow is forgotten by God.” Luke 12:6 (NIV)

I was fully prepared to attend our daughter’s College graduation by myself. I was not prepared to attend alone.

Going by myself meant I would attend the ceremony, take pictures and then go to the care center to share the experience with my husband.

Going alone meant that just ten hours earlier I had received the dreaded call – he had passed in his sleep.

Sitting in the arena on that Sunday afternoon in May, I was in a fog. I desperately wanted to get up and pace – sitting still was difficult. If I sat still too long, I would begin to cry again – and this was not the place for “those” kind of tears. Mercifully I was flanked on each side by kind women who were present for grandchildren. The usual small talk ensued and, in response to their innocent questions, I had to tell them that my husband had passed just hours before. How kind they were, taking my hand and patting my shoulder – a true blessing. During our conversation we had all noticed a bird flying about in the upper rafters. We paid it little mind, because it is a common occurrence to see such things in large arenas.

Music started, the graduates processed in and sat down, and all was quiet. Then, suddenly, right at my feet was a tiny, female sparrow. She looked up at me, tilted her head and then flew away into the rafters again. How grateful I was for the distraction of this little bird’s presence. By focusing on her I could refrain from crying and move my head slightly to watch her – thus relieving my desire to get up and pace.

The little sparrow was respectful during the invocation and speeches and stayed high in the rafters – until there was a break. Each time it was quiet, she would fly down over our daughter’s head! She was causing quite a stir among the people around me, for the story had spread about why I was there “alone”; and I had already pointed out where our daughter was sitting.

As each graduate walked across the stage the little sparrow was again very respectful, waiting in the rafters quietly. Then it came our daughter’s turn. Our beautiful daughter held herself proudly and received her College Diploma with Magna Cum Laude Honors! And when she returned to her seat that little, tiny sparrow flew down from the rafters directly over her head again!

My husband loved the sparrows in our yard. He fed them regularly and made sure there were plenty of houses (which he made himself) for them.  It was no “coincidence” or “accident” that brought that sparrow there to comfort me that Sunday in May three years ago.

No, the sparrow was not my husband as I heard some say. I truly believe that little bird was sent by God Himself to help His newest widow through a most difficult day.

That day I was much like that sparrow – lost and alone in a very big, strange place. In the three years since, I have grown stronger, and have been able to use my wings in ways I never expected – even in a big, strange place called “widowhood”. It has not been easy. I do still miss my husband; and, to be honest, I needed to take a break from typing to shed some tears.

Now, I ask this question: “If God is able to guide a lone sparrow to a College graduation ceremony in May, isn’t He more than able to guide each of us as we journey down our individual paths of widowhood?”

Dear Father, My love for You has grown and deepened over these last years. You have shown me in countless ways how valuable I am to You – and I am so grateful. Continue to guide us Father – we are Your tiny sparrows – so much in need of Your love and care.

25 replies
  1. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    Hi Linda,
    Thank you for your touching story. It reminded me again of my own sparrow story. A few months after my husband unexpectedly died, I was teaching a watercolor workshop in Giverny France in Monet’s gardens( a trip he was supposed to take with me) and I had time to paint by myself for awhile by the lily pond in the gardens. I remember saying to the Lord-I am so lonely…and a darling little bird appeared out from under the bushes-hopping on the ground right in front of me and would not leave my side. One of my students came by to take a picture and commented that that little bird just would not be scared away from me! It was such a special experience to know that I wasn’t alone and that my big God would do that for me to let me know that He was aware of my every need. He shows us in so many ways that he will never leave us or forsake us! Your testimony of this was awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! Charlotte

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Charlotte what a special experience that was for you! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  2. Ruby
    Ruby says:

    What a lovely story! Thank you.

    I have been widowed almost three years and have “received” over a dozen feathers on particularly difficult days. The first three came during the one-year anniversary week of my husband’s death. #1, a thirteen-inch feather beside my step (a narrow driveway, a narrow garden, and the back of the neighbor’s house—less room than a double driveway and we never get birds there!); #2 a four-inch feather on the driveway three days later; #3 a tiny feather braided into my hair by a newly-found friend. I went home and checked my concordance and found Psalm 91:4—-He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.

  3. Lucy R.
    Lucy R. says:

    God is not sitting in heaven just watching but interacting with us in special ways uniquely only to each of us.

  4. Pam Caruso
    Pam Caruso says:

    Linda, dear…I can’t imagine how you were even able to get up and get dressed to go the graduation that morning…That in and of itself is a powerful testimony of God holding you in the Palm of His Hand… He wanted you there… He wanted you to see His Comfort Gift…He knew you were in the fog… but He knew you needed to see His Sparrow then. And that you need to remember it now. You have been given a tangible Comfort Gift… A gift that you can pull from your memory and use when strength and courage and faith or hope seem to wan! Angels and Sparrows among us, Always! Love to You!

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Pam! So good to hear from you here! Thank you for your comments. Love to you dear sister!

  5. Fran Griffith
    Fran Griffith says:

    God is faithful to send His sparrows at just the right time. Three years after my husband died I was at a crossroads needing to change jobs for financial reasons. I loved the job I was in and was terrified to change and afraid that I would never find a job that would meet my financial needs. As a sat one day in a Sonic Drive-In talking on the phone with a friend sharing my dilemma, I noticed a little sparrow in the tree parked right in front of me. Tears began to spill from my eyes as I remembered the same verse that you shared today.
    It’s been another 3 years later – God did point me to a new wonderful job three years ago and in His kindness and grace has even allowed me to do some part-time work back at the original job I was in, which is helpful financially but more than ever has allowed me to be a part of the ministry I hated to leave. He is so good!!!

  6. Karen Emberlin
    Karen Emberlin says:

    Thank you, my friend, for sharing this morning. God sends the message of His love to us in some very different ways – now, every time I see a sparrow I will be reminded of His precious love and of you! Your words and insight are always such a blessing to me. Thinking of you today!!
    PS – I had to take a “tear break” too!!

  7. Lori Streller
    Lori Streller says:

    Such beautiful writing, I felt as if I was sitting there beside you observing the sparrow in its flight. I love how God cares about the tiniest details of our lives and sends little love blessings to help us along this path. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Sharon Vander Waal
    Sharon Vander Waal says:

    I love, love, love, this post, Linda! It is an awesome story of God’s grace and comfort to you on a day when you desperately needed it! Thanks for sharing the story!

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Thank you Sharon! You know, on reflecting on that day I am still awed at exactly how God moved to send me comfort!

  9. Sheryl Pepple
    Sheryl Pepple says:

    Such a beautiful reminder of God’s care! Thank you so much for sharing Linda! God Bless~Sheryl. AWM

  10. Kit Hinkle
    Kit Hinkle says:

    Linda your visit by the precious little sparrow comforted as the Lord comforted me in so many ways. God bless you for sharing yor story and for having the insight to explain who the sparrow is and isn’t. You are wise beyond your years, making your writings a joy to read.

  11. FlowerLady Lorraine
    FlowerLady Lorraine says:

    This was beautiful! Oh how awesome and wonderful is our God. He cares deeply for each of us and this little story shows just that.

    Thank you and God’s continued blessings be on you.


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