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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

A Startling Imprint

I jumped, startled when I heard a loud thump. As I squinted to look at the almost blinding- bright kitchen window, I saw a cardinal bird flutter away.


There’s a bird feeder right in front of our kitchen window and this wasn’t the first time a bird had flown, or better word – smacked- into this window. But never before has one left an imprint like this.


I got out of my seat and ran to look out the window to see if the bird had been stunned, lying on the ground, but I didn’t see it anywhere. All that was left was the proof that it really happened.

I looked closely at the imprint and I was intrigued how detailed the marks were. I could see a beautiful pattern of wispy strokes from the wings. I could even see the tuff or “crown” from the top of the bird’s head. The imprint looked so delicate, feather-like (well it was a bird), even though it hit that window with such a hard impact.


It left a lasting impression.

That morning event happened a couple of months ago and the imprint is still there. It reminded me of good ‘ole Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples. It is relevant to the quickly approaching Easter. After Jesus’ resurrection he doubts Jesus’ resurrection if it really happened.

So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25 NASB)

Jesus has those thick, iron nail imprints of salvation and redemption on his hands. They prove forgiveness, victory and love.

Do I have to keep having proof of his promises?

{Jesus} is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… (Hebrews 1:3 NRSV)

Don’t we want that imprint on our souls, on our being?

It has made me ask myself many times since then…

Are my imprints gentle, beautiful, intricate, long-lasting and full of grace?

Or are my imprints blurry or harsh, dull, shallow or easily washed away and forgotten?

“How do I make an imprint in someone’s life? Have I ever? In a good way or not so good way? Who has left an imprint on my heart? Do I just flutter around with no impact, or do I intentionally try to make an impact? Am I trying to make an impact to give myself credibility or try to make an impact for kingdom purposes? Those are all questions everyone should ask themselves every so often.

We all make imprints on peoples’ lives whether we realize it or not. What kind of imprints am I leaving on people in my life? What imprints has God put in my life?

I am not ashamed with the imprints God has given me because they remind me of His grace. I have the imprint of losing some of my vision to remind me that he carried me through brain surgery and if it weren’t for that, I might be like Thomas and have trouble believing. I have an imprint on my hand where I was run over by my car to remind me that I need to slow down and “just be” more often. I have imprints (and stretch marks) to remind me daily of how our children are a gift to us and I have friendships that have left imprints of joy on my heart.

Even a bird that left an imprint on the kitchen window left an imprint in my mind.

What imprints have you made? What imprints have others given you? What imprints have God given you? Ponder that the next time you see a cardinal fly by.

Thanking God for:

#1273 imprint on the kitchen window that imprinted my soul

#1274 grace for dirty windows

#1275 daughter finally understanding long division

#1276 a quote I’m still pondering

#1277 94 year young woman’s book ordered

#1278 75* Saturday

#1279 unexpected, God-planned evening with friends

#1280 serving dinner to tons of youth and their leaders

#1281 gift hung – scripture given as gift from friend

#1282 gift folded – four loads of laundry complete

#1283 gift gift turned – head turning to look out the window as I type to see titmouse and bluebirds checking out the bird house to nest in this spring.



#1284 sign of new life on a cold and dreary day

#1285 meeting set to start new project

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