Saturday a hummingbird believed he was trapped inside our screened-in porch. For an hour I checked on him. For an hour he rammed the screen, as though by his ramming it would morph into a doorway. Fly swatter in my hand, I approached him, calmly explaining my kind intentions. Entrapping him between the swatter and the screen I slipped my hand around his soft little body. In a last ditch effort to save himself, he locked his tiny toes onto the screen wire. “You have to let go if you want my help,” I told him, “I’m fine either way but I’m not pulling your legs off to save you.” Our standoff lasted about 5 seconds before he relaxed. Two steps to the door and I opened my hand.
He can dive at a feeder well the size of a rice grain and never overshoot, never miss. But when panicked he cannot find a 8’x4’ doorway and he cannot see the wire mesh between himself and the trees. To him, the situation is give up and quietly die in this trap, or fight this invisible enemy and die a hero.
What apparently didn’t occur to him, at least in the first hour was, I could calm down, use my God-given aeronautical genius and figure this out. A simple reconnaissance flight ought to suffice. If not, I’ll wait for that lady who feeds us to come along. She checks on her flowers about every 10 minutes when she should be working on her sermon so she’ll be by sooner or later. There is a cat, but he’s too fat and lazy to jump high any more. There’s shade and plenty of water, I’ll be okay for awhile.
Relaxing his grip put his fate in my hand. Imminent freedom or certain condemnation? He could not know and still he trusted. Rich is the memory for faith, reminding me that panic adds trouble to trouble. Panic overrides my God-given capacity to see, to think, to assess and to trust. I descend into either-or believing which sets up false choices that lead to regrettable decisions. Unlike panic, faith breathes deeply. Faith waits and assesses. Faith suggests that the way in may also be the way out and if not, God is not far off. Faith recalls that waiting upon the Lord is neither weak nor fatal. It is wise and life-giving. Faith looks for and finds the good, the shade and the water, even in the midst of trouble.
As I write this morning, the hummingbirds buzz nearby. enjoying the cool air and the sugar water. I must remember to close the porch door. ~ peace and prayers, pastor annette