by: Judith Hargett
How big can a hummingbird’s brain be? Well, needless to say… and like most people who use that phrase I’m going to go ahead and say…though it’s needless. A hummingbird brain can’t be very big based on the limited space provided for containing it. Yet, they seem to use what brain they have in a most efficient manner. Once the little hummers find a feeder, they appear to “reason” there should be one in that same spot the next year. And when the feeder is empty, they hover in front of the window as if they know that some “thing” on the other side of that glass provides their sweet refreshment.
In stark contrast of size are the crows that have discovered they like the taste of the suet cakes we provide. Crows are smart birds, and we don’t mind having a few come around. Makes us feel like we’re living in the country. But between the crows and the woodpeckers, a suet cake can disappear quickly. Unlike the government, we can’t print more suet cakes to appease the feathered populace so we were a little concerned when we watched one of the crows work diligently at opening the suet cage. Undoubtedly this was so he could take the whole cake home for the crow family supper. He eventually gave up on “breaking and entering” but not before removing significant chunks of suet. I suspect he is now meeting with the crow engineers to “hatch” a plan to outsmart the humans who can’t even fly on their own no matter how hard they flap their arms…and gums. Oh the freedom flying would seem to offer us.
Thinking of freedom reminds me of a young marine I was visiting with recently. He said he didn’t expect to be deployed because we were “at peace.” Hmm. So, this is what peace feels like? I’m not sure our enemies have been adequately advised that we’re not currently available for attacks. And we know there is an enemy who will never leave us at peace. That enemy is the devil and his evil minions. As long as satan roams this earth, he will seek those whom he may devour as we are told in I Peter 4:8: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
When I was a child I was able to fly in some of my dreams, usually when I needed to escape from a lion…never when a snake was involved. (My feet always stayed rooted to the ground if a snake was after me. Waking up was the only thing that could save me.) Flying in my dreams was a great feeling. I can only imagine what it might feel like to fly for real. Isaiah gives us a preview of what that might be like when he spoke to God’s people who had been taken captive by the Babylonians. In Isaiah 40:28-31 he says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Such encouraging words!
Oh, I see the hummingbirds circling the feeder; their tiny wings beating frantically. The sugar water must be getting low, and they fight each other over the remaining drops. In contrast, Christ followers have a never ending source of nourishment. We can feed on His Word any time; it is impossible to overeat. Yet we can be just as greedy as the tiny hummingbirds if we don’t share that Word with the many empty humans that circle around us every day. §