Signs of Hope Are Everywhere

“…and they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’†(Luke, 24:32)”

Today is my father’s birthday. Michael Joseph Dietz, who was born April 2, 1939 and died after a 7-year battle with pancreatic cancer Jan. 22, 2023, was my earliest example of Christianity. He not only insisted our family go to Mass every Sunday, but that we be early. He and my mom put my sister and I through Catholic schools. He always bought me an extra copy of the daily reader, “Living Faith” which I still order and read today. And he was a good man known for his acts of kindness with family, friends and the community in which he lived and worked. I really miss him, especially today, but I know he’s smiling down on me from heaven and we will be reunited there one day.

The Sign of the Cardinal

I was at my dad’s bedside when he passed and shortly before, I asked him if he would please send me a sign when he visits me from his new home in heaven, when I “talk” to him asking for guidance or to intercede for me when I pray. I specifically asked him for a cardinal, since you usually don’t see them everyday but only on rare occasions. Also because my dad’s and my favorite color has always been red…and because that was his high school mascot (from Calvert Hall College in Baltimore). At the time he smiled and said yes, that was a good idea. I have seen a few cardinals over the past year or so since my dad has been gone, usually when I ask for Dad to show me a sign, answer a prayer, help me make a decision, or simply help me find hope, peace and joy. Once, going through a particularly difficult time with family, I had a cardinal swoop into my backyard when I was praying…I beckoned the cardinal to fly to me and he did, right up to my windowsill. A miracle? Well, I believe there are no coincidences in God’s world.

Signs of Easter Hope

Every year I try to take Lent to heart, to make a few sacrifices, to try to become closer to Jesus so I can experience the fullness of Christ’s passion and the joy of His Resurrection. Every year I stumble and fall or fail in my promises a few times. But this Lent I tried to keep open to signs from Jesus around me. There was healing in several relationships in my family. I went with my husband and our church to the Shrine of Padre Pio and I realized all over again how we are all called to be saints…but that God gives us a unique purpose to work his ministry. Mine is teaching Christian writers to become authors of books that glorify God…but also to write my next book as well. (happy to report it’s in progress!) To offer my hand to the still sick and suffering in my 12-Step programs. To spend more time with family and friends. To make my husband and marriage a priority. To continue to grow spiritually by staying in today, dreaming of a better tomorrow, doing God’s will and serving others. Even though today is miserable weather-wise, I know the sun and the flowers will come out again soon…signs of spring, new life, hope, joy. And the best sign of all of this is the cross…a sign of triumph, a sign WE WIN no matter what!

The Road to Emmaus

The The third day after Easter Sunday and the Lord’s resurrection, we hear the Gospel, The Road to Emmaus, in the daily Mass. It is one of my favorite stories about two disciples travelling the road when the risen Jesus appears to them and they don’t recognize Him. They ask if He knows about the crucifixion, the empty tomb and the talk of a possible resurrection, then ask Him to stay with them for dinner. Only when Jesus breaks the bread at their table do they recognize Him as the Risen Lord, saying “weren’t our hearts burning when we heard Him read the Scriptures?” Sometimes I ask myself this question and sometimes I do feel my heart burning…and realize I need to pay attention to this sign as well that Jesus is with me right here and now.

Dear Lord, open my eyes to see all of Your signs and wonders so that I may draw nearer to You. Amen.

Michele Chynoweth


  1. Andrew McDowell on April 2, 2024 at 10:27 pm

    Great post, Michele.

    • Michele Chynoweth on May 1, 2024 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Terri, it’s so good to hear from you and thank you for joining in my prayer! Loved hearing your story about the baby cardinal! Thanks for sharing, keep in touch! Love, Michele

    • Michele Chynoweth on May 1, 2024 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks Andrew, I think of you often and hope you are enjoying Spring and hope to see you soon! Love, Michele

  2. Terri Axtell on April 3, 2024 at 11:59 am

    My father’s birthday was 4/2/33. I love visits from cardinals and think of many loved ones who have gone before me when I see them. Growing up, cardinals built a nest right outside my parents bedroom window. On Easter morning, the church bulletin had a male and female cardinal pictured on the cover. Coming home after church that Easter morning, an egg had hatched. We were so excited and it was a beautiful sign of spring, new life, joy and hope. Most of all, it has been a beautiful memory and reminder of God’s miracles and how He gave His life for us.

    Thank you for your post, Michele! I join you in your prayer, “Dear Lord, open my eyes to see all of Your signs and wonders so that I may draw nearer to You.” Amen.

  3. Mary A. Knueven on April 4, 2024 at 1:48 am

    Beautiful post, Michele. Your dad was such a wonderful and joy-filled man! I love the sign of the cardinal that you and your dad chose to acknowledge that he was praying for you. May Jesus walk with each one of us as we travel along the road of life, just as He walked with the unknowing disciples on the road to Emmaus. May God be blessed, and may He bless us this Easter season!

    • Michele Chynoweth on May 1, 2024 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Mary, I’m so sorry I’ve been out of touch…but just know I miss you lots and hope you are having a lovely spring and Easter season! Love, Michele

  4. Joan C. Benson on April 5, 2024 at 8:01 pm

    I enjoyed how you wove the essence of your faith, your family, and your own road to Emmaus altogether in this one post. Great job of communicating what was on your heart, Michele.

    • Michele Chynoweth on May 1, 2024 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you so much Joan! I really appreciate hearing from you and look forward to hopefully seeing you soon! Happy Spring! Love, Michele

  5. Laurie Schnepf on April 12, 2024 at 5:23 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, Michele!! 💕

    • Michele Chynoweth on May 1, 2024 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you Laurie for reading and responding to my blog posts, I truly appreciate it! Love you my friend, Michele