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The Red Sign

A Christian devotion that reminds us that God is present in our lives

“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”—Exodus 23:20 (NIV)

My father was dying, and I was called home from Indiana to North Carolina. The first night at the hospital, my twin sister Debbie and I sat by Daddy’s bed, holding vigil as we listened to his raspy breathing.

In the early hours of the morning, I awoke from a fitful sleep. Deb was sitting by the only window in the room. “Come here, Lib,” she said. “I want to show you something.”

I went around Daddy’s bed, and Deb pointed to a framed picture hanging on the wall over the sink. “Can you see the angel in that picture?” she asked.

I had stared at that picture over and over, but until now had noticed nothing unusual. In fact, Deb and I agreed that we didn’t particularly like the picture, a wooded scene with red poppies at the bottom and a bird sitting on a branch to one side.

But now, as I glanced at the picture from the angle by the window, I immediately spotted the angel. The sculptured wings and body were clearly made up of the light between the trees and the poppies. The shape was unmistakable.

“I asked God to give me a sign that Daddy would be okay, that he would be at peace,” Deb said. “When I looked up, there was the angel. And I thought, That angel is overlooking red…and I was going to say poppies, but then it occurred to me that it was overlooking Red.” “Red” was our father’s nickname. With a head full of bright red hair, he had been called nothing else since childhood.

Suddenly that picture became the most beautiful thing in the room for all of us, a sign of God’s love and divine protection for our father.

Lord, I thank You for signs that assure me that You are present and active in every aspect of my life.

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