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Message from a Bird

Message from a Bird

Was God even listening to me?


Walking in Manhattan during my lunch break, I was weighed down by my troubles. Lately, I was just seeing the glass as empty. And broken. My singleness, not fitting in at my job, my rejections, my loneliness, my hopelessness, my aimlessness... I dragged my feet with each step. Every breath was a heavy sigh. I reached for my phone to call my usual confidants, but no one answered.

So this was it. It was just me and God.

With tears filling the corners of my eyes, I confronted Him in my heart. "What do You want from me? I’m trying to work on myself. I’m trying to pray every day. Where is all this heading? Are You even listening to me?! Answer me, PLEASE!!"

As I walked, I was numb to the fresh air, to the blue sky. Deaf and blind to the rushing pedestrians around me and the steady din of traffic. I neared the corner and the man walking in front of me sidestepped sharply to avoid crushing an object on the sidewalk. It looked like a dead bird. I shuddered and avoided it too.

As I walked past, my neck turned and I caught a second look. I’d never seen a bird like it before, and definitely not in midtown Manhattan. About the size of a sparrow, it had brown and white speckled wings with a little feathery tuft of red on its head.

The bird blinked. So it wasn’t dead. It must have been injured since it sat calmly on the sidewalk as feet rushed past it. Not typical bird behavior.

I didn’t know if God was trying to tell me something, but I heard no message. I felt a pang of sympathy for the beautiful bird who was lost and possibly hurting, but I couldn’t bring a wounded animal back to the office. With conflicted feelings, I crossed Lexington Avenue.

While waiting on the corner for the light to change, I turned to the right and saw something whiz through the air. It was that bird! It landed on the post of a street sign. As I crossed 35th Street, I felt a pull to cross back over the avenue and take a closer look. The New Yorker in me wanted to keep walking to my destination, but my feet carried me toward the sign.

I approached and saw that the bird was tightly gripping the post of a No Standing sign. I looked it in the eye and it gazed back at me. The wind ruffled its feathers, but it still held on tight. A jackhammer rumbled close by, but the bird showed no sign of being disturbed. I looked around. Did anyone else notice this crazy bird that must have taken a wrong turn from somewhere upstate? It was the picture of tranquility and steady determination in gripping that post.

I wanted to keep on moving, but I felt that God was somehow waiting for me to hear Him on this street corner. So I listened. And as the breeze whispered gently across my face, I heard: “Even though you’re injured and hurting, and you don’t fit in here, just hold on. Hold on to Me tight. Don’t let go, no matter what happens, and I’ll always hold you up.”

The realization that God was there to support me when I leaned on Him hit me hard. I left the No Standing sign behind me and walked on with a renewed spirit, leaving the bird at the corner, with no signs of letting go.

April 30, 2016

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Visitor Comments: 7

(6) Simcha Aliyah, May 5, 2016 2:30 AM


Thank you for a beautiful story. I too, ask of G-d. I must always remember to also Listen.

(5) Tova Saul, May 3, 2016 3:36 PM

clear message

" It must have been injured......I didn’t know if God was trying to tell me something, but I heard no message. I felt a pang of sympathy for the beautiful bird who was lost and possibly hurting, but I couldn’t bring a wounded animal back to the office."
Maybe God was trying to tell you that a wounded suffering animal is worth your time, money, and effort, no matter where you work. Next time (and there will be a next time), you'll have another chance to do the mitzva of tzaar l'baal chayim (relieving the suffering of animals).

(4) Kathleen Dahnke Nottestad, May 2, 2016 12:05 AM


Birds God And Heaven - when my Father passed I wanted him to let me know he was in heaven the sign of a blue bird. days had passed and I search for the blue bird signaling me my Father was safe with God in Heaven. If he was NOT in Heaven then surely there was NO Heaven. He was all that is good in man. The day after my Father died I had gone to a flower shop and purchased a little white basket with sweet tiny violets in full bloom safely tucked inside. I was enjoying my purchase days later and there on the top of the handle in the very center was a tiny little BLUE BIRD which I'd only seen the beauty of the flowers and had missed the BLUE BIRD that both my Fathers in heaven had made sure I purchased and finally saw the little nest with the precious BLUE BIRD sitting comfortably in his home. Now too was my Father in his home in Heaven, and all along I knew but had missed seeing the BLUE BIRD signaling his arrival, present with me just waiting to be discovered. In my heart I never doubted that God had taken him to be with him - I knew but wanted so to see the BLUE BIRD he would be sure I received, open your eyes and see!
The other day I was speaking to a person about my former husband and his Mother was a very special women in my world. I was telling of something's that her son and her were aware of but I had NOT been until hind sight kicked in. She loved red cardinals and I never see one without thinking pleasant thoughts of her. She loved me and I'm sure one reason was every Mother wants their child to marry their true love and she understood we had and she was like a second Mother to me in so many ways. I loved her. Well, when speaking to this person of some unpleasant things it was a cold day. I believe she knew that I understood things that weren't apparent secretly hiden from us. Looked out a window in a tree sitting on a branch for a long time was a RED CARDINAL!! She too knows what had transpired and was sending greetings and saying " We Love U!"

(3) Rivka, May 1, 2016 10:55 PM

That bird wasn't lost.

I don't know whether that bird was injured (as injured birds typically do not fly and land on street signs), but downy woodpeckers belong in New York City. They are native birds that are more common in parks but can be found in other places in the city too. He was not crazy and did not take a wrong turn from upstate.

Hadassah Tov, May 2, 2016 3:59 PM

Good to know

I meant crazy in an affectionate way :) To me it was an unbelievable sight in that setting.

It was the first time I had seen anything like it, but thanks for sharing!

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