By: Lynne Hinton

I have always collected feathers. It’s just something I do. In my new book, Pie Town, feathers serve as an important symbol in the story. As I was writing Pie Town, I continued collecting feathers. I found them on paths in forests, along mountain trails, and beside lakes and streams. Each time I found one I placed it near my computer as a kind of good luck charm for my writing. Like people discovering pennies and figuring them for good luck, I have always thought of feathers as some sort of blessing, a sign of good fortune or heavenly approval. However, there’s something more for me about the meaning of feathers. I discovered this a few years ago.

As the pastor of a small church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I gave both a sermon for the adults and a sermon for the children every week. I usually tried to shape them both around the same Bible story or the same message. One month there were a couple of Sundays that I talked about angels. One week I told the children the Bible story about a man named Jacob who wrestled with an angel. His is the story of a guy on his way home to reconcile with an estranged brother and I told them that angels sometimes help us do the hard work of managing conflicts and finding forgiveness.

The next Sunday I told the Bible story of the prophet Elijah and how he ran in fear for his life until he fell exhausted in the desert, asking to die. I explained how an angel came to him bearing the gifts of food and water and the presents of rest and refreshment. It was that Sunday and with that story that I decided to give away some of the feathers I had collected to the children, explaining to them how I loved to find them and how they remind me of angels.

“In fact,” I said, “When I see a feather, I think that an angel has passed by that place.”

Jimmy, a bright eight-year-old boy who attended church every Sunday, liked feathers too. He took a couple of my long hawk feathers and stuck them in his shirt pocket before heading back to his seat.

Jimmy’s life is a difficult one. His mother, addicted to drugs, is in and out of trouble and in and out of unhealthy relationships. Jimmy was adopted by his great-grandmother when he was still a baby. Sometimes he has trouble concentrating and staying on task. He also struggles with rage. The days before the beginning of the school year that summer when I told them about angels and feathers were especially hard for Jimmy and his great-grandparents.

A few weeks after the angel sermons when he started third grade his great-grandmother dropped by the church. “I walked with Jimmy to the bus stop the first day of school,” she reported. “While we waited for the bus he spotted a feather right at his feet. He believes an angel was there.”

I smiled.

His great-grandmother continued. “He bent down and picked up the feather and asked me, ‘Why do you think an angel came here?’ And I told him, to make sure you had a good start to school. And then,” she said with a shrug, “he had the biggest grin I’ve ever seen.”

There was a pause. I knew it was no easy task for my parishioner trying to raise an eight year old. I knew she was often tired and frustrated and that she was deeply afraid that she would not always be there for her young great-grandson.

“I didn’t tell Jimmy what I really think,” she confessed.

“And what is that?” I wanted to know.

“I think Jimmy and I are going to be okay,” she replied. “I think the angel really came for me.”

And she drew in a deep breath, turned around, and left my office. And as she walked away, I thought I saw a feather drop from her fingers. And it was then that I realized that sometimes we merely find signs of angels but that sometimes, if we’re paying attention, we catch a true glimpse of them before they fall away.

Originally posted here: on June 07, 2011.

About The Author

Angels are a major part of my life. Seven years ago, I took an "AngelSpeake" workshop offered through the local Adult Education Program. As a ACP, Angel Certified Practitioner, I teach other people how to communicate with their Angels. I receive signs from the Angels. Most come in the form of feathers. I thought I was unique with these blessings. As it turns out, there are people all over the world confirming the same signs. Blessings to you and all you do, Karen


  1. my sister died a few months ago and since then I have found feathers, one beat me on the nose but there were no birds around and another was on my car and since then I have found them in my path or blowing in front of me is this a sign?

  2. I felt four long feathers stroke my face what does that mene IT woke me up

  3. Good morning. Last October. An Angel appeared to me in my sleep. It was magnificent . The wings were spread out so beautiful but had no face. It was illuminated . I put out my hands to touch it , it slowly disappeared . If I close my eyes I can still recall it. Would like to know the meaning. Please. Thank you. I believe in Angels.

  4. I found a hawk feather standing up straight on my typing holder on my desk. I assumed my husband left it there for me to admire and comment on. He collects hawk feathers. He finds them everywhere and has made a blundle of them that he keeps on his desk. When I asked him about the feather he said he did not put it there and did not know where it came from. My desk is inside our home and no where near the outdoors. What is your best guess. Yes, I do believe in angels. Thank you.

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