Another Testimony Of Michael
(the founder of Medjugorje USA)

Michael and the Sparrow or Thoughts About Signs and Gifts Sent From Heaven

Having returned from Medjugorje from my first pilgrimage in 1989, I attended Mass daily even though I was not yet Catholic. I was enrolled and attending an adult RCIA class to become Catholic. Some months later I was Confirmed and was thrilled. I never missed a day of Mass in 7 years. Attending Mass during my 4th year, one day a lady was sitting in my usual seat in the back row. I sat in the row in front of her doing my daily prayers before morning Mass. I noted, this woman I had never seen before was coughing constantly. Her coughing made it difficult to hear the Mass and I each time she coughed I could feel her breath hitting the back of my neck. Her presence was not a pleasant beginning and little did I know things would get far worse before they would get better.

I never ate before Mass and afterwards would go to the local coffee shop for a bite before going to work. One day this lady who was now coming to Mass everyday showed up in the coffee shop. She recognized me and sat next to me and started a conversation. As I was ready to leave she asked if I would give her a ride home. I was not aware she did not drive, so I gave her a ride.

The next day after Mass she asked if I was going to the coffee shop and I said yes. She asked to come along, and I said okay and took her and later drove her home before work. After a few days of this she asked if I would pick her up for Mass in the morning. I told her that I was always in Mass at 7 am to do morning prayers prior to the 8 am Mass. She said that was too early for her but insisted I pick her up. So after years of the same schedule, I changed it and got up earlier at home said my prayers and picked her up at 7:30 each morning. Often she was not waiting for me so I would have to go to her apartment on the second floor, knock and wait for her to get ready.

The time came where she asked for my phone number and I gave it to her. In no time at all, my phone was ringing off the hook day and night. It got to the point where I could not get anything done because all my free time was devoted to this lady. I was either chatting with her over nothing or running and doing errands for her. I did these things because I wanted to be a good Christian.

My sister came to visit me one evening. She lived 100 miles away and it had been some time since we've seen each other. We were headed out the door to go out for dinner, when the phone rang.  It was the lady from Church who called to chat. I cut her conversation short because of my dinner plans. I told her that my sister came to visit, I had not seen her in a long time and we were just headed out the door to go to dinner.  The lady got very angry at me and yelled demanding I call her as soon as I got home. Ending, she hung the phone up in my face.

Needless to say I did not enjoy my time with my sister nor the meal as I was quite upset. I did not call the lady back that evening and did not go to Mass the next day. I did not want to see her because my peace had been taken away. What I did do was to go see Father Ronald, our parish priest. I told him all that happened. Father Ronald told me this Lady calls him at least 30 times a day. Father claims he use to call her back each time but said he could continue to do so. He said he just had to remove himself because she was grabbing hold him and not giving him time to breathe. He told me that the best thing I can do is, call and tell her how I feel about the way she talked to me. Father also said I should tell her I can not continue to do the things I did for her before. I had mixed emotions about doing this because I knew this woman seemingly had no one in her life, but I did as Father advised me. I called her, told her my feeling and politely hung up.

Three days went by and that evening it was my usual night to spend time with a poor family I visited once a week. Each week I would bring a meal and after eating I would teach them prayers and we would all read from the Bible. This woman was a single parent with a low paying job and two children. That evening I brought with me what we call, a New England boiled dinner. It is one of my favorite meals, but to make this meal requires a very big pan which is quite heavy when the whole meal is inside. 

I came to their door that evening and had to put down the heavy pan to knock on the door. As soon as the pan was on the old cement step and I knocked, I heard a strange noise coming from the gutter on the house. I looked up and saw a hole in the house with a full grown sparrow coming out of the hole, flapping its wings. The bird fell to the ground flipping its wings as it fell. I thought the bird was injured so I approached it wondering what I could do to help. I slowly reached out as the fully alert sparrow looked at me.  The bird allowed me to pats its beak. The bird had no fear of me what-so-ever! I moved my hand away wondering what I could do next for the poor bird. All of a sudden it flew on top of an old tire leaning against the side of this rented apartment. The bird just stood there looking at me for about a minute or so. I'm convinced the bird even winked at me, straight into my eyes. In a flash all of a sudden, it flew away in the direction of the sun that was still shinning bright on this late summer afternoon. The son of this woman witnessed a good portion of this event and we talked about the most unusual encounter.

The next day I went to Mass and Father Ronald announced the lady who sat in the back of the church that coughed had passed away. He knew the exact time of her passing because he was in the hospital by her bedside when she died. Inside myself I felt real horrible for abandoning her. I suffered feeling like a failed Christian. I lost my direction and peace to the point of making myself sick. The follow week I made my usual meal and went to visit the family. They could tell I was sad. I told them the day I made the boiled dinner that a woman I use to help, had died. I told the family the story I am telling now.

The son said to me, "Michael do you remember what we read in the Bible about how, no sparrow falls from the sky without permission from God?  I said yes, and he said "Well, the time the priest said this woman died is the same time you come here each week. All of a sudden I understood. I had been given a sign but did not recognize it at the time.

This woman died in the hospital, at the exact same time the sparrow fell from the hole in the house. I realized now to put my heart and soul at peace, God sent me a great gift of comfort and joy. Through the words of a child (I was teaching Scriptures) and the unnatural actions of a small bird, I will never, ever forget the message that,  "Not a single creature passes away without permission from Our Father in Heaven." (Matthew 10:29)

The sparrow fell to the ground and reborn, flew into the sun, just as the lady who was so limited by her struggles in life, was now free to fly away.

Sharing this testimony is to let readers know that God does answer many prayers if only we perceive the the gift given us.

I have received signs and miracles in my lifetime before and after the testimony of me and the sparrow, be the blessings received, asked for or freely given. Hard to believe that now in 2012 the sparrow I recall in mind clearly is an encounter that happened 23 years ago. Signs, or Heavenly gifts (if you will) are there for us to continue growth on a path of holiness! Receiving such gifts we need only follow the path given us, but we must do so with free will.

I also know that if we ask for a sign or gift that we many not always get an answer to our prayers. I call this, "Sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." There are far to many reasons to comprehend why one may not receive a healing or other gifts or signs asked for. It is also true that sometimes the only gift we need learn is, acceptance.

In the Old Testament we read the story of Job and we find that Job suffered beyond what most could endure. Even so, Job never cried out to God. Job's wife thinking Job should abandoned God told Job that he should curse God and die, to be free of his sufferings. Job refused to curse God and continued to accept all things as the will of God. Job practiced acceptance, knowing that somtimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayer. When time and place were in order with the goodness of God, Job was well rewarded for his patience and acceptance. This is the example by which we need live our life.

To continue on the holy path we should always remember to thank God for all the gifts He has given us. Our Lady of Medjugorje message on September 25, 1989, confirms this process.

"Dear children! Today I invite you to give thanks to God for all the gifts you have discovered in the course of your life and even for the least gift that you have perceived. I give thanks with you and want all of you to experience the joy of these gifts. And I want God to be everything for each one of you. And then, little children, you can grow continuously on the way of holiness. Thank you for responding to my call."

Blessings to you all,
Michael, founder of Medjugorje


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