Only a Snippet

by Shirley A. Reynolds

My thoughts wandered as I looked out our frosted window at the snow-covered mountains and snow-laden pine boughs. A sheet of snow was about to slide off the roof of our garage, and when the snow decides to move, it sounds like thunder. Layers of snow had accumulated, and the piles looked like rolls of taffy. After moving from city life to the high mountain, we found that maintaining a country lifestyle was indeed an adventure, and it was hard work! Though I had my grandson, Michael, with me for the weekend, I was in a woe is me mood! We wanted to go sledding, but the temperature was barely 30. The news on our television was ugly! It seemed as if the whole world floundered in financial problems, and I was worried about what I would fix for dinner! Living in our community didn’t allow me the opportunity to have a circle of friends. Neighbors were miles apart. I felt as if I wasn’t doing enough for God in my little corner of the world. But, that ever-present still small voice seemed to say, “Don’t worry about things, Shirley, make it simple. Take a snippet of life, and make it simple!” As the snowflakes fell, I turned my attention to Michael.

We were both lying on the floor trying to assemble a 3 x 4-foot dinosaur puzzle. I centered my attention on finding the all-important T-Rex pieces. As we searched for puzzle pieces, a goldfinch flew into our front room window, bounced off the glass, and hit our wooden deck with a thump.

Before I was able to respond, Michael jumped up on the couch, saw the tiny bird on the deck, and yelled, “Grandma, I’m going to go see him!” Out the door he ran.

Before I could even rise from the floor, he was outside. When I reached the deck, Michael was holding the bird cupped his hands, and he carried the tiny creature to a sheltered area by our house. His tears flowed as he petted the bird’s wings with his fingertips.

“Oh Grandma,” he cried. “I think the birdie died! I hope it went to heaven before it hurt too much! But, I’m not sure he’s dead!”

Stunned by his words, I said, “Oh Michael, I’m sure God is taking extra special care of him.”

Michael pushed an area of snow away and sat down on the frozen ground. Then, he gently set the bird down on the ground. I knelt on the other side and watched as my little grandson comforted the stricken bird. I was sure the bird’s neck was broken and began to think about how to hang streamers on the outside of the house to keep this from happening again! My attention strayed for a moment, until I heard Michael pray.

“God, please take care of this little bird and take him to heaven. I don’t know if it is alive or not, but it must be hurting. I don’t want this little bird to hurt. I think its wing is broken. Please, answer my prayer God! I don’t think this bird is very old!”

I hoped the bird would recover, but it didn’t look promising. I was touched with the simplicity of my grandson’s prayer. Only a snippet Shirley, I thought.

“Grandma,” he said, “I’m going in the house and get my froggie. It’s my favorite stuffed animal. I think the bird would like that! But, Grandma, if the bird dies while I am gone, pound on the door and let me know!”

“I will Michael,” I said, as I watched him run into the cabin.

When he was out of sight, I prayed.

“Dear Lord, if ever there was a time when you chose to answer a prayer of mine, please let it be now. Please make this little bird revive, so Michael can see your healing power. Thank you God!”

After a few seconds, the bird’s wing fluttered. My heart was beating a million times per second. As I watched the bird stand, raise his head and hop a few inches, it flew up to a tree branch.

I ran and pounded on the door. Michael came running with a worried look on his face.

“Oh Grandma, did it die?”

“Oh no, Michael. Better than that! It flew away, and there it is on that high branch!”

I pointed, as he looked up and smiled. Jumping up and down, clapping his hands, he said, “Oh Grandma. God fixed his wing and made him live.”

Simplicity! Short and sweet. I believed the bird was dead. I was sure there was no way it would fly. I wrote off the idea of the bird reviving. But, Michael taught me a lesson.

Through a little boy’s simple faith, I learned how God worked in the heart of a small child and his Grandma. It was only a snippet Shirley, only a snippet!

Shirley Reynolds is a freelance writer living in the mountains of Idaho.

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