Miracle of the birds

October 25th, 1999

Thanks, Martha, for sharing the story of one of life's simple miracles.

I'll share a miracle from my life. I was working in the basement late at night, on the night before last. I decided to look into the "cleanout" opening at the bottom of a three-story high chimney flue, because there were some wasps crawling around in the vicinity of the cleanout door. I hadn't checked inside this door in many months.

I lit a folded piece of newspaper to send smoke up the flue and, hopefully, drive out the wasps. When I opened the cleanout door, sure enough, wasps began crawling out immediately. As I went to throw the burning newspaper into the opening, I yelled in surprise.

There, in the very bottom of this forty-foot high chimney flue, was a baby dove, terrified, covered in soot, and covered with wasps, which must have been stinging this beautiful, frightened, and weakened bird. Quickly I put out the fire, which had not yet reached into the opening.

With wasps crawling everywhere, I reached in, securely grasped the baby dove, and gently lifted her out of her sooty, wasp-infested prison. As I carried her gently out of the furnace room, the bird suddenly sprang to life, wriggled out of my grasp, and began flying wildly around the basement, crashing into ceiling tiles, boxes, furniture, and shelves. I knew the bird could be fatally injured if I didn't catch her soon.

She flew into a wall, and tumbled down into a tiny space between the wall, and a tall shelf holding CD's and cassettes of my "Color Me Green" songs (one of which is titled, "Miracle Of The Birds"!!) Miraculously, her wings had not been broken by her many recent ordeals, and this time she allowed me to grasp her and lift her to safety. With one shoulder, I pushed open the cellar "bulkhead" door, which opened to reveal a starry sky on this chilly Maine October night.

With both hands I gently flung this beautiful bird toward the stars, and, miraculously, she flew vigorously into the night, brushing the branches of an oak tree, and flying out of sight. Now, two days later, I swear I see her feeding contentedly, next to the sparrows, chickadees, and juncos enjoying the many sunflower seeds spread across a fresh layer of golden maple leaves.

My reason for sharing this story is that it seems a metaphor for how I have felt many times in my life, and how many people feel when they seem trapped in impossible circumstances, imprisoned by hardships or emotional pain, with no imaginable "escape" route, and with their feelings of entrapment made even more painful by the "stings" of insults or criticisms from others.

In my life I have ALWAYS been rescued, and "released" from this sense of entrapment, by witnessing some simple miracle; by the kindness and caring of a friend; or even by what seems like a gift of fresh hope from God——so that I am able to fly (or in my case, to sing!!) again, to feel gloriously free, to feel healed and renewed.

I don't know why I was guided to check this chimney door, which I have opened only a few times in the past four years. But both the dove, and I, are thankful for the guidance, the renewed hope, and the chance to share this simple miracle.

Wishing everyone a life of miracles, and million chances to fly toward the stars.

With love, Mike Nobel, Gorham, Maine (mike@aol.com)