A Quiet Voice
This little story reminds us to listen to that small quiet
voice from within -- you never know where it will lead you.
As a teacher of origami (the ancient Japanese art of paper
folding) at the LaFarge Lifelong Learning Institute in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Art Beaudry was asked to represent the
school at an exhibit at a large mall in Milwaukee. He decided
to take along a couple hundred folded paper cranes to pass out
to people who stopped at his booth.
Before that day, something strange happened -- a voice told
him to find a piece of gold foil paper and make a gold origami
crane. The voice was so insistent that Art actually found
himself rummaging through his collection of origami papers at
home until he found one flat, shiny piece of gold foil.
"Why am I doing this?" he asked himself. Art had never worked
with the shiny gold paper; it didn't fold as easily or neatly
as the crisp multicolored papers. But that little voice kept
nudging. Art tried to ignore the voice. "Why gold foil anyway?
Paper is much easier to work with," he grumbled.
The voice continued. "Do it! And give it to a special person."
By now Art was getting a little cranky. "What special person?"
he asked the voice. "You'll know which one," the voice said.
That evening Art carefully folded and shaped the unforgiving
gold foil until it became as graceful and delicate as a real
crane about to take flight. He packed the exquisite crane in
the box along with about 200 other colorful paper cranes he'd
made over the previous few weeks.
The next day at the mall, dozens upon dozens of people stopped
by Art's booth to ask questions about origami. He demonstrated
the art. He folded, unfolded and refolded. He explained the
intricate details, the need for sharp creases.
Then, suddenly, there was a woman standing in front of Art.
Was this that special person? Art had never seen her before,
and she hadn't said a word as she watched him carefully fold a
pink piece of paper into a crane with pointed, graceful wings.
Art glanced up at her face, and before he realized it, he
found himself reaching for the "gold-foil crane" he'd labored
over the night before. Carefully he picked up the gold crane,
and gently placed it in the woman's hand.
Art said: "I don't know why, but a voice told me to give you
that golden crane. The crane is the ancient symbol of peace,"
Art said simply.
The woman didn't say a word as she slowly cupped her hand
around the fragile bird as if it were alive. When Art looked
at her face, he saw tears filling her eyes.
Finally, the woman took a deep breath and said, "My husband
died three weeks ago. This is the first time I've been out.
Today ...." She wiped her eyes with her free hand, still
gently cradling the golden crane with the other. Then she
said very quietly, as tears streamed down her face. "Today
would have been our 'golden' wedding anniversary."
Then the lady said in a clear voice, "Thank you so much for
this beautiful gift. Now I know that my husband is at peace.
Don't you see? The voice you heard, it was the voice of God,
and this beautiful crane is a gift from Him. It's the most
wonderful 50th wedding anniversary gift I could have received.
Thank you for listening to Holy Spirit within your heart."
And that's how Art learned to listen very carefully, when the
Holy Spirit speaks to him within, and tells him to do things
he may not understand -- now or even later.
Are you listening, my friend? God may be speaking to you.
Addendum -- 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The man without the Spirit
does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God,
for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand
them, because they are spiritually discerned."
[ Author and original source unknown -- from Denial ]
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