Looking for Signs

At a book signing last week, I saw friends I hadn’t seen in quite a while. One of them shares my love of all things nature and we talked about the joy of discovery in God’s creation. It brought this post to mind from a few years back. What I’ve found is that God can bring healing to our hearts when we choose to focus on the beauty around us.

Let’s continue to remember in prayer our friends to the South who are trying to put their lives back together right now due to Hurricane Ian.

Excavation in a friend’s yard for a renovation prior to the time her family purchased the house left a Native American arrowhead near the surface, which her family found. They love history and antiquities of every kind, so the relic was a real treasure for them.

She called last week excited about another discovery. “I was thinking about the other arrowhead while gardening, and there in front of me was another one.”

It reminded me of a day this summer while on vacation when I went out biking along the coastal marsh.

I first saw the marsh hen there that’s referenced in Sidney Lanier’s poem, “The Marshes of Glynn,” which appears in my book, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees. I’d never seen the bird again, although I’d looked on several occasions. But this day, in my peripheral vision, I saw movement. I stopped my bike, and not just one marsh hen, but two emerged from the marsh grass.


For a long while, I stood still, and watched them preen and strut. I could have stayed there all day.

I left feeling I had shared a Holy moment with God―as if He asked me, “How do you like my workmanship?”

“It’s good God. Very good. Thank you for sharing it with me.”

These small gifts like arrowheads and marsh hens are what the Psalmist David called signs of His goodness.  (Psalm 86:17). They’re all around us, these messages of His love and grace, but we have to put ourselves in a place where we’re able to see.

Sometimes, we’re so focused on the problem, the heartache, the underbelly, that we miss them.

I was once in a hospital room with a family going through a hard time, and I looked out the window. Just outside was a lovely garden with trees and grass, and I felt consolation from the beauty. Just then, someone else said, “What a terrible view. Look at that old gas station over there.” I lifted my eyes and sure enough, there was a rundown gas station on the horizon, but somehow God had helped me miss it, while only focusing on the beauty.

So today, no matter your circumstances, look for the signs of His goodness all around you. Who knows what form they will take, but be sure, they are there.

“Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me” (Psalm 86:17).

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2022   

Edited repost 


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