Are you a believer in signs?
In my estimation, there are three types of people when it comes to this topic:
1. The Omen Enthusiast - This person wants to confirm that every single material thing they desire and every path they want to follow is sanctioned. Consequently, their dog could poop in the shape of a microphone, and they'll take it as a sign that they are meant to be a famous singer (even though they can't carry a tune and have never had a voice lesson). They immediately audition for The Voice. A conversation with The Omen Enthusiast might go something like this, "Yesterday, my half eaten hamburger and bun fell on the floor making a distinctive pattern of ocean waves. So I knew immediately that I should go purchase the pair of jet skis I've been wanting."
2. The Symbol Naysayer - Quite the opposite, this person refuses to believe that they are ever delivered of a sign. They believe that all acts in the universe are random (and generally opine that those who think differently are nuts...). The Symbol Naysayer could wake up one morning with The Shroud of Turin literally emblazoned on their bed linens, hold up the pillowcase and, while looking at the face of Christ, say, "Look at this disgusting, haphazard dirt pattern on my pillow. I better add Tide with bleach to my grocery list...and invest in a better loofah."
3. The Spirit Seer - This last type is a combination of the two mentioned above but the motivation is a bit different. Because The Spirit Seer wants to know the path they are following is pure and not motivated by self-interest when happening upon a sign, doubt may enter the picture only in order to keep them on track. Generally, though, this person prays, asks for guidance then steps out the door every morning in faith, confident of finding an answer. They may say, "I read a phrase in a book yesterday that confirmed my question on a new job offer I've prayed about taking. I'm so comforted to find confirmation for my question." The more they pray, and the more they are accepting of the answer and path set before them, even if it is contrary to their heart's desire, the more they become aware of the signs all around. Soon everywhere they look, there is meaningful evidence of the Holy Spirit. Signs abound which glow with the light of Heaven.
A few weeks ago, while my dad was in hospice care, barely having been conscious for days, my sister drove over to my mom's to continue all of her help with Daddy's care. She entered the house and said, "I just got out of my car and something told me to look down. Here's what I found at my feet," and held up a red leaf in the perfect shape of a heart. We all cried.
Little did we know that this was only the first of many signs from our father (and Father) in the weeks to come. My continued prayer, "Lord, please keep me open to following Your path while recognizing Your love and peace all around me. Thank you for the tangible signs You send, showing us our father is whole and happy, in this time of earthly grief."
Please come back tomorrow for the next installment of "Hearts & Crosses" and the amazing sign-filled journey my family has been taking.