by Amber Weigand-Buckley
One of the greatest miracles in my Dad’s life happened in the last few months that he was on this earth.
In one day, one heart attack took him from the place of being a very strong 71-year-old, 6’3” man to a man who was in need of constant care. This began a year of terrible suffering.
His legs never healed because of diabetes complications. He slept in his “lifting recliner” because he could barely breathe. He would cry out to Mom to intercede for him in the middle of the night. Cry out for his healing that never came this side of heaven.
On one of his most desperate days, he sat in the backyard of his house trying to pull every ounce of sunlight in to make his heavy mind feel better. He closed his eyes and uttered this prayer: “God, are you still with me, in all this pain? Please let me know that You are still by my side.”
He opened his eyes to find that a white dove had landed in the nearby tree. All of a sudden, a feeling of peace surrounded him. Then he said, “God, if this is You, could You bring that dove down to me?”
As soon as he spoke the words, that white bird flew down to the seat beside him and walked right up into his palm.
That bird stayed in my father’s hands until Dad released him to fly back up into the tree.
Then Dad prayed again, “God, could you let that bird stay here until Joyce comes home from work?”
Hours later, when my mother arrived, that bird again flew down from that tree. This time, it landed on the fence beside her, then gently climbed into her hands. When Mom finally released it, the dove returned to the same spot, right in the tree.
Even though that prayer didn’t take away Dad’s pain or change his situation, over the course of the next week, the bird stayed perched in the tree. But in the dark pit of his final days, Dad knew and felt the Comforter there with Him until his final place of complete rest. And in that extended time of pain, God showed His presence to us all by providing relational healing for our family.
The faithfulness of God provided supernatural comfort for the whole family. As the Psalmist promises in Psalm 91:4: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (NIV).
I will pass this story down to my children and my children’s children, not just because we witnessed a miracle. And not just because it reminds us that God doesn’t always answer prayers in the way we would like.
It is a reminder that the God who brought something as simple as a dove—the wrap of His feathers—into the middle of my father’s pain, is the same caring, attentive, comforting Father we serve today.
I pray that in every story you hear of God’s love and faithfulness, you will remember in the very same way how He lavishly pours out His heart for you. No matter how many generations pass, His character will never change.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
About the author: Amber Weigand-Buckley is founding editor, art director and podcast host for the multi-award-winning Leading Hearts magazine. She has been in the mag-making business for 22 years. Her publications in which she was editor have garnered a total of 13 Evangelical Press Association Awards. Amber was named the 2015 Advanced Writers and Speakers Association Member of the Year. You will find her design work right here on Arise Daily!
In her full-time she is wife to her Brit-native Philip & mum to 3 inspiring creatives: Saffron, Imogen, & Penelope, as well as a provider of social media management & communications support for many authors, missionaries, non-profits, and businesses.
Join the conversation: What stories have you heard about (or experienced) on God’s love and faithfulness?