By Wendy Gustafson
Even before all the boxes from our move to Twin Lakes had been opened, their contents dealt with, and the boxes folded flat for easy recycling, Bob was missing his bird feeders. Even before we had had enough contact with the ladies down the hall to remember their names, Bob was missing his bird feeders. Even before we had had enough practice with the reservation line to make sure of a place in the Fine Dining Room downstairs, Bob was missing his bird feeders. So pretty soon in our tenure in the new place, we sat down to plan.
At home, we had had a spacious deck out back, looking out onto a wooded yard with a little creek way down there. At The Home, we have a nice balcony looking out at a well-paved parking lot and the entrance to Stone Creek Dining Company. At home, we could drill and hammer to our hearts’ content. At The Home, drilling holes in anything is strongly discouraged. At home we could hang bird feeders anywhere we wanted. At The Home, hanging bird feeders was a problem needing a solution.
What we finally came up with was a miracle of engineering, ingenuity, and a trip to Lowe’s. I found a round red wastepaper basket, Bob bought 45 pounds of pea gravel, and I chose a large red tomato cage. We bought two new hummingbird feeders. The seven we had had at home had all been sold at the garage sales. We put the pea gravel in the wastebasket, fit the prongs of the tomato cage down in amongst the rocks, and hung the new hummingbird feeders on the top rungs of the tomato cage. Ta-da! Hummingbird feeders on a stable, moveable, compact support for about $20! All the ladies down the hall wanted one too.
I sit out on our balcony most mornings with coffee and watch the sun change colors in the sky. I take a basket of devotional books, my Bible, and my journal and watch and listen. I watch for hummingbirds and I listen for God.
Hummingbirds appear out of nowhere, their plain grey bodies hanging in midair. They look sharply left and then right. They dart and dance in the air and suck down the sugar water Bob makes for them. I don’t see the songbirds, but I do hear them. They greet the sun with tunes and twitters. Both are here by God’s design, and God designed them differently for a reason. One reaches God in quiet; one reaches God in song. One hums; the other sings out loud. Together they are a gift to us that is miraculous and perfect.
Some Christians are like hummingbirds.
They seem busy, hanging out nearby, but they prove themselves close to care, ready to swoop in and offer aid or solace, or just be there for you. And then they swoop out again to make themselves useful to the next one who is needy and might not even know it. These Christians seem to appear out of thin air just when you need what they have to give. When you look back on it though, you may see a complicated matrix of moves that brought the two of you together, the Lord’s Logistics.
Some Christians are like songbirds. They fill life with glorifying God and drawing you into the fun of that. These songbirds sing for joy. They lift sagging spirits with the promise of possibilities and the tales of trusting God that worked out better than anyone could have imagined. They exercise trust in Jesus and friendship with God’s people. You recognize their colorful faith. You pick up their song yourself and carry it with you to your next encounter with the wider world.
Sometimes you may be called upon to sing, so be ready with lyrics of God’s love. Sometimes you may be called upon to hum, so be happy to hover near the needy. In all things rejoice and praise the Lord!