Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6:26
Last week, while visiting with my 92 year old mom, a special visitor joined us. Practicing good COVID protocol, our guest remained outside. We watched through the large glass door as she danced outside on the patio. Well, actually, she danced above the patio – a female Rufous hummingbird. That’s right. A hummingbird, dipping and darting and fluttering and flirting while enjoying lunch from my mom’s cafeteria on the first day of February. Simply remarkable.
A brief video clip of her dance, posted on my Facebook page later that day was witnessed by a college classmate, who reached out to his friend, a hummingbird specialist named Susan. Contact info and address were soon exchanged and in less than 48 hours, Susan and a helper arrived at my mom’s. In less than 10 minutes the visitors had gently captured the hummer nicknamed “Happy” by my mom, banding her, weighing and measuring her and confirming her particular species.
Susan also writes regularly for publications in the Sandhills about these amazing little creatures. Our family is waiting with anticipation for her story to appear. My mom, who marvels at all species that take to flight, was invited by Susan to hold “Happy” in the palms of her hands. The little guest rested there quietly for almost a minute, and then gently flew away; my mom privileged to touch this wonder of creation which she has faithfully kept fed throughout the winter.
In her book, Consider The Birds, Debbie Blue writes,
“People identify with birds. We watch them, research them, tell stories about them, and in the process we explore our humanity and inhumanity—mystery and manners. They’re funny and dirty, noble and shifty—much like us… I pick up my Harper’s, my New Yorker, even the Nation, and there are stories, essays, poems about birds. I have heard about three new bands in the last week: Sleeping in the Aviary, Birds and Batteries, and the Larks. I believe it is the same way with the grace of God—when you start paying attention, you’ll discover it in places you hadn’t noticed it before. It may make your heart race, or help you breathe. It can free you from anxiety (at least now and again).“
And maybe that’s just the reason Jesus used birds as an example of God’s grace and provision. He posed his listeners, (and that includes all of us) not only to “consider” winged wonders, but added to our consideration a question:
Are you not of more value than they?
I think “Happy’s” visitation is a reminder that if God will carry a fragile bird through the winter, God will carry us as well. Jesus knows that considering such a marvel as “Happy” always holds the promise that such winged-wonder might cause us to consider the loving care of our Maker and Provider. “Happy” may help us to consider the wonder of our loving Heavenly Father, and be thankful…
Still In ONE Peace,
Jon (the Methodist)
If you would like to view past editions of How Sweet the Sound, follow this link: https://sounddistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/