by Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila
During our retreat (May 18-20) at Lake Balanan, Negros Oriental, our daughter Ruth and I had two heaven-sent encounters – one victorious experience with angels, the other with God’s messenger, a little singing bird.
On our first afternoon at the Lake, Ruth and I walked all around the lake, about 4 kilometers, plus trekked up to the waterfalls for a very refreshing swim and icy massage under the falls. On our way back we crossed over a ravine on a sturdy kawayan (bamboo) bridge. Suddenly when we were about two-thirds over the bridge, the bottom fell out. I felt myself falling, clutched the right-side railing, then suddenly found myself seated astride on the only remaining stable log facing back the way I had come on the left side of the bridge. How did that happen? Neither Ruth nor I can explain it; it had to be our guardian angels working overtime!
Ruth managed to climb back up onto the bridge and join our guide on the trail. They then found a long kawayan to reach me that I could brace myself on, to slowly, using their bodies as stairs, make my way onto solid ground. It had to be angels, too, that kept our guide and Ruth from panicking and gave them the presence of mind as to how to rescue me. How high was the bridge? About 3 or 4 meters or so above a very rocky dry riverbed. If I had fallen all the way down, I could have been seriously injured. But the angels saved me! Praise be to God!
On Sunday, Ruth and I were having our early morning meditation on the balcony of our room watching the sunrise dawning over the hills and enjoying the awakening of the myriad singing birds in the area. All of a sudden, one of the birds, a little black bird with white stripes on his wings, perched on a bush in front of us, sat there for a moment, then turned to face us. He looked at us directly and sang a most joyous melodic morning greeting directly to us. We didn’t dare move, but we glanced sideways at each other in awe. The little bird had the most amazingly strong voice and was singing directly to us, looking right at us, for maybe two or three minutes. Then he stopped, bobbed his head up and down, and flew away.
We were awed – we are still awed – and knew that the little bird was God’s messenger to us that morning, sharing God’s joy at our spending the weekend with Him. His message to us that morning was one of joy, hope and providence. Through His little messenger, God assured us of His loving presence in our lives in everything we do, everywhere we go. A fitting and inspiring message to accompany us back to our daily lives. Thank you Lord!