My daughter sent me the most beautiful Christmas card ever this year. She knows I have loved cardinals for many years.
Inside the card was a photo of my daughter, her husband and my two darling grandsons, 2 and 4 years old. Just getting them all together and looking good and sitting still for 10 seconds all at the same time and all together for that photo was a true labor of love, I know.
Her personal note (which is, uh, personal) was also beautiful and the kind that delights every Mother’s heart. How blessed I am! But just being reminded that she notices what I like and remembers and gets and does things to make me happy is a priceless gift in itself. Again I say, how blessed I am!
So. . . why do I adore cardinals? For two reasons – one, they always remind me of my earthly father, Fred Farmer (yes! I was named after him : – ) He passed away many, many years ago, creating a hole in my heart that only God could heal. Daddy liked cardinals and always pointed them out to me. Anything my father liked, I liked, too of course.
The Northern Cardinal is listed as one of the 100 common birds in Tennessee, my Dad’s native state. So I’m sure he saw many growing up, just as I did growing up in Florida.
Of course, the ones Daddy saw were possibly seen in snow, like the picture above. And snow just hardly ever happened in Central Florida!
The second reason I love cardinals is that they remind me of my Heavenly Father’s unending love and presence and tender care. I gave my heart to Jesus in 1981, and Daddy passed away in 1986. I think somehow in my mind, the two thoughts and all the feelings associated with cardinals and Daddy and God were woven together in my heart.
All I know is that ever since I met Jesus, when I see a cardinal, even a fleeting glimpse, I feel like God has just given me a loving pat on my head and said, though not audibly, “I love you, Freda, and I am taking care of everything. Everything is going to be okay. ”
It never, ever fails. I can be in the bluest of moods or frustrated or stressed or whatever other negative thought pattern we humans so easily fall into, but the sight of a cardinal works a true miracle in my heart.
Dear Father in heaven, thank You for loving me and reminding me in so many, little ways constantly of that love. Thank You for such a wonderful earthly Daddy. You know Daddy was a big and strong “man’s man” but he was so tender and gentle with me. I know his love prepared a place in my heart for Your love, Father. Thank You, Lord, for my father and for the way cardinals remind me of both of you. I love You, Lord!”