The Bird

The decision was an agonizing one. The result of my choice would change not only my life, but that of my husband, my son and other family and friends. I had been accepted to two medical schools, one perhaps slightly more prestigious than the other; one relatively near my home, one thousands of miles away. I was obsessed by the conflict, and it filled both my waking and sleeping hours.

One morning I awoke and walked to the porch to retrieve the paper. In a small planter next to the sidewalk sat a dove. I was no more than two feet away from it when I opened the door, yet it made no attempt to flee; instead it sat in the planter and looked at me. “Curious,” I thought. I went in, read the paper, went to work and continued to mull the choices in my head, still agonizing over them.

When I returned from work, there sat the bird, having not moved in the intervening ten hours, again watching me closely, but making no attempt to leave. “Surely the bird is hurt,” I thought, and brought it a bowl of water and some bread crumbs. I set the bowl near the bird, and it hopped onto the rim-not appearing at all disabled or injured-drank, and sat looking at me. Sensing no fear in the bird, I reached over and stroked its head. The bird did not flinch. “Weird,” I thought, and went into the house, and eventually to bed.

I dreamt, as had been usual, of choices, decisions, their effects. However, when I awoke my choice was clear, and I felt happy and confident that it was the right one. I made coffee, walked out to the porch to get the paper, and the bird-still there-looked at me, then easily rose and flew away.

Psalm 142: 1-3. I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplications with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Thou didst know my path.” I will not say that the bird was a “messenger,” but certainly I will always associate his presence with the sense of God whispering His instructions to me. God always speaks to us. We need only listen.