The other evening, I went for a hike and found white feathers. A lot of them. For a year and a half now, I’ve been finding white feathers everywhere I go.
Here are the feathers I found on Thursday.
I find white feathers pretty much every time I take my lunch-break walks.
I found one in the garage when I was stacking wood. I find them everywhere! This is a feather I found as I walked to my car after church this morning.
I don’t remember ever seeing white feathers before Ken died. NEVER. Is it that white feathers have always littered my path, and I just didn’t take any notice of them? Maybe they’ve always been there, and God is just opening my eyes to see them now, so they’ll bring me comfort. Maybe they were never there before, and they’re only there now, and that’s why I never saw them.
These thoughts made me think of another woo-woo thing that happened recently.
Madeline and I share a Spotify account. Actually, back in the day, Ken, Madeline, and I shared a Spotify account. I wasn’t terribly involved in Spotifying—I just didn’t do much with it. Ken provided music in the house as if by magic. He had apps that he’d use to play music for me even when he wasn’t home. Sometimes, he’d start playing a romantic song as he was driving up the driveway after work. I liked that he played music for me throughout our days even when he wasn’t home.
After Ken died, I considered deleting the Spotify premium account because it costs real money, but Madeline freaked a little (“NOOooo… my playlists”), so she took over the payments and now, I just use her account.
Here’s the thing… my playlists (all two of them) don’t change. I was never the one who curated or created the playlists. Ken did that. He picked music, I picked textbooks; we each had our talents. When he died I complained that in many ways he took the music with him, both tangibly—I can’t seem to get the speakers in the house to work—and intangibly—life without music is sad. I’ve actually never even made my own playlist on Spotify. Before Ken died, I had one playlist called “Mom’s running music” that he created for me one year when we were in Wisconsin, and I didn’t have an audiobook, and I have one that Tommy created after Ken died. I couldn’t do much more than breathe in and out, and he thought it would be nice for me to hear comforting songs while I breathed. He named that playlist “The Greatest Mother’s Playlist” (And I left that name… Obviously!). That playlist has a bunch of songs on it that feel really healing to me. That’s it. Two playlists. The songs on these playlists are all downloaded because I don’t have real internet at the ranch.
Anyway, the other day I was listening to “The Greatest Mother’s Playlist” and there was a song I’d never heard before. I was offline, so I knew it couldn’t be a recommended song. I checked the playlist, and, yes, this song was a new song downloaded to my playlist. I hadn’t downloaded anything. I’d never even heard the song before.
So I texted Madeline to ask if she’d accidentally (or maybe intentionally) added the song to my playlist.
She said she hadn’t downloaded it. She didn’t even know the song.
Well, then, that’s strange.
I asked if anyone else had access to our Spotify account, and she said, no.
Another thing… this song isn’t just any random song.
It’s perfect. Perfect for the week I’d been having. Perfect for new thoughts, worries, and fears I’d been having. Perfect for the old thoughts, worries, and fears I still have.
Over the past year and a half I’ve played one song more than any other. That song has a very similar theme; it’s a song by Tasha Layton called “Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok).” I’ve repeated the main chorus over and over in my head all day for twenty months: It’s gonna be ok… It’s gonna be ok… It’s gonna be ok. I’ve listened to this song so many times. At a time when the ground had fallen out from beneath me, and I was clinging to my faith with everything I had, this song, oh this song… well here are a few lines:
Though the mountains may be moved into the sea
Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way
I can hear my Father singing over me
“It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”
Then when this new song, titled “You’re Gonna Be OK,” by Jenn Johnson played, I had to stop what I was doing. I replayed it several times. It was a different song but the same message.
And when the night is closing in
Don’t give up and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end, it’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok
I guess this is a message I need to hear. And continue to hear.
I’m trying to accept that I won’t understand everything, but I have to admit that it’s just a bit too woo-woo to think that Ken’s still curating music for me.
Is this something that happens all the time? Do you guys normally find new downloaded songs on your playlists? Maybe this is super common and I’m just now experiencing this. Maybe that’s it.
I don’t think it’s too outrageous to think that God might use various kinds of things to comfort us and bring us peace when we’re hurting and confused. I think he especially likes using nature and poetry. He spoke the world into existence, he dropped manna from heaven, he turned water into wine… he can probably manage adding a song to a playlist, right?
I like the feeling of comfort that seeing white feathers brings. I like hearing songs that bring me peace.
So my prayer today is that God will continue to give me eyes to see and ears to hear all the wonderful and comforting things he puts in my path.