God Winks

sparrow on wall

I was driving home the other day and was listening to the song “Lost in the Wilderness” from the musical Children of Eden. In the song Cain expresses to Abel his loss of faith in God because they are in the wilderness, not the garden. As I pulled into my driveway Cain sang, “Don’t you ever watch the eagle fly to the sun and wonder how he got to be so free?”

At that moment, perched on the wall in front of me, was a small sparrow. It was just standing there looking around, as if it were taking in the beauty of the day. The bird was not rushing off somewhere. For a couple of minutes it just stood there, and I sat in my car just staring at it. Like the eagle in the song lyrics, the sparrow seemed quite free. This moment for me was what I’m calling a “God wink.” Those are moments we feel touched by God in a unique and unexpected way—as if God were winking at us.

“Not one sparrow is forgotten by God,” I recalled from Luke’s Gospel. This reminded me that God deeply loves all animals—even that very sparrow on the wall—just as God loves me. And God gives all creatures freedom, even in what seems like the “wilderness” of the day-to-day. It’s easy to forget that, which is why a God wink was the perfect in-my-face reminder! The meaning I got from the song seemed uncannily timed with the sparrow sighting.

For all the focus I put on finding God in all things, I sometimes forget that God can find me. God winks are little, sometimes humorous, reminders that God wants to tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I’m still here! Don’t forget me!”

When have you experienced a God wink?

About Andy Otto 54 Articles
Andy Otto credits his relationships for a strong and ever-growing faith in God. After spending nearly three years as a Jesuit, he came to a deep appreciation for the practical application of Ignatian spirituality. He currently lives with his wife in California, where he works as a high school theology teacher. He is the author of God Moments and holds a master’s degree in theology and ministry from Boston College.

7 Comments on God Winks

  1. God winks- why not? We wink and we were created in the image and likeness of God. I would like to think that we have all the best and most beautiful characteristics of God and that it is only through our choices that we turn the beautiful into evil. For me, I have a God wink when “my” acrobatic hummingbirds spar for their favorite feeders with complete trust and confidence. Their wild flight seems out of place in something so small-maybe God winked and smiled as His hands opened to let them fly?

  2. I was one of those who have been grieving about the death of Mother Angelica. I had always felt that she would be eternally with us on earth. (In a way, she is, because we continue to feel her presence in the network, and continue to learn from her immortalized programs.)
    As I watched the solemn funeral rites, I could not help imagining that God would be winking and smiling more now that Mother is at home with Him–she with her terrific sense of humor!

  3. The winking moments are a nice visual. The ones catching us off guard are perhaps reminder gifts of God’s presence. When we pay attention they surround us in nature.I wonder how someone in a hospital bed experiences winks. A bird landing on a sill, a healthcare worker’s kind words or a therapy dog’s visit?

  4. I had that wonderful “God Wink” last week when I had a visit from my grand daughter and her little girl, my great grand child. She has always been a bit distant with me. But this time that precious child gave me a huge hug as soon as she through the door! With the words “Hi Gigi”. She is just two years old…we had such fun lots of one on one. I have never felt more blessed in my life!

  5. I happened to be watching the Today show this Monday morning on my i phone and Hoda and Kathie Lee were interviewing Squire Russell. He told a very touching story about a gentleman who helped a woman walking down the road carrying a gas can and I had a good cry as I was telling my husband the story.

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