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The Unexpected Visitor
by Stephen A. Peterson
04/08/11
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The Unexpected Visitor
© 2011

by

Stephen A. Peterson


Staff Sergeant Karl Banks and his wife, Jocelyn had been married nearly 17 years. This marriage produced no children as they had dedicated their lives to one another. While on his second deployment to Afghanistan, he was killed. Jocelyn was devastated.

“I’ll be okay,” she replied, “I’m volunteering a lot of my time helping deployed service members’ families. But when I have to go home each night, being by myself and knowing that he’s never coming back to me…, that’s when it hurts the most.”

Two weeks ago, while she was working with the Family Readiness Group, she dread going home to her empty house. “Lord, please help me,” she said softly. “I am hurting so. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I feel so miserable and I don’t know what to do.”

At that moment, a white dove flew down landing on the park bench where Jocelyn sat. The bird stood there motionless and with a sound.

Jocelyn sat very still because she did not want to frighten the bird with any movement. She slowly turned her head to look direct at the dove. For whatever reason, Jocelyn felt a calm she had not had since Karl was reported to have died. The dove’s head bowed down momentarily as though it demonstrated its grief for her loss. The dove flew off leaving a tail feather that Jocelyn generally picked and held in her hand.

Jocelyn’s face, which once had been sad for such a while, began to radiate. At that point, she realized that she was not alone. God had demonstrated that He was with her though she was in the house by herself. She believed the drove was the Holy Spirit. His tail feather left on her behalf was His message to her—that the Lord and her beloved husband were with her at all times.

Jocelyn continued with her volunteer work with the Family Preservation Group then added work with wounded veterans as she utilized her nursing skills. She learned from her visitation the truth of God’s promise, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:18) (NIV).


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