She was a gift of grace.
She was a mama hummingbird. I noticed her one day, beginning to build a nest on a tree branch right outside my office window. The nest was only about the size of a golf ball. It was held to the branch with pieces of spider web. The first few days, she fluttered, hovered, in and out, in and out. Did you know that a hummingbird’s wings beat 55-75 times per second? That a hummingbird’s heart beats over 1200 times per minute?
As the days passed, she spent more and more time in her nest, sometimes resting for minutes on end. I assumed she was resting on top of tic-tac sized eggs.
The first thing I would do whenever I came into my office was look for her. Sometimes she would be there in her nest. Sometimes I would have to stand and wait and watch until she returned. She slowed me down! OK – my heart doesn’t beat 1200 times a minute, but I do know that I too often rush here and there. She made me pause and look and notice and pay attention. What a gift of grace!
One day she was there. The next day she was not. I don’t know what happened to her. Life is fragile, even tenuous at times. The events of the past month have made all of us aware of that fact. But I remember this scripture from Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (Luke’s version says: Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight). And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” In the midst of my sadness, I hold to that promise – for mama hummingbird, for myself, for all of this hurting, beautiful world.
I pray that this summer brings you occasions to slow down, to pause and look and notice and pay attention to the gifts of grace that God sends. I pray that the promises of God in Christ Jesus strengthen you and give you good courage.