I’d never seen a hummingbird hang up-side-down like a bat.
Until, that day in the garage.
My wife’s voice carried like a gale force wind straight from the garage through the kitchen and right into my ear-hole. My spidey-senses were tingling as I tried to make sense of the words she was stringing together to gather my attention.
Honestly, she could have been saying anything and it would have worked. It didn’t even need to make sense. “Colonel Sanders is dressed as a pineapple and eating a taco…”, Bam, job done.
So, I rushed to the garage to make sense of this commotion to find a hummingbird repeatedly head-butting my ceiling. Remembering clearly that no one wins with a head-butt, I started crafting my plan to help our tiny sugar-licking friend to safety.
What didn’t make sense was the garage door was wide open but this little guy continually kept trying to go into beast-mode and bust a hole through our ceiling as his escape route.
Fear only made his little wings flap faster as this fear morphed into confusion and the confusion into exhaustion. Frantically, he would make his way over to the garage door button wire and clinch on hanging upside down to catch his breath.
It’s the only time I’ve seen a hummingbird pant like a dog.
12 Inches of Fear
We felt terrible for the little guy but didn’t know how to help him. He was living in the top 12 inches of the garage while the bottom 6 feet offered the freedom he was looking for.
We knew if we tried to grab him we risked breaking a wing or worse. So, for about 10 minutes we watched as he head-butted the ceiling, rested and then repeated the process.
Every time he would head-butt the ceiling my wife would let out a squeak. It was quite the commotion.
Eventually, after trying everything else, I decided the best way to help him was to tire him out so he would land on his own safely and we could carry him outside.
I grabbed this long cleaning rod with a giant puff-ball on the end (used to clean spider webs) and moved it a few feet away from him to keep him from landing. After a few minutes my plan worked and he drifted like a toy helicopter running out of battery power down to the edge of the garage.
He had given up.
I walked over, picked him up and started removing the spider webs, he had drifted into, away from his tiny body. He laid there, without any movement other than blinking.
I’m sure he fully expected me to make a mid-day snack out of him and I could tell how afraid the little guy was.
So, I cleaned him up, took him outside and placed his beak in the hummingbird feeder we had hanging on our crepe myrtle. After a few good guzzles of liquid diabetes, he regained his energy and flew away like a rocket.
That little guy made me think about how, if we allow it, fear can blind us and entrap us.
Now, I know, I know… We have all heard a thousand teachings on how we shouldn’t fear and when we do it blinds us. I’m not going to jump into that here.
Even When We Do Fear…
This little guy got me thinking about how fear can blind us but he taught me how even when we do fear, even when we do feel trapped, we have a good Father who is there to clean us up and carry us out of the confusion and fear.
Fear can cause us to live in a 12 inch prison while there is a 6 foot door in the same room.
Sometimes to see the 6 foot door it takes a little trust that as we step, our Father guides us and when we fall, He picks us up. Fear can cause us to live in a 12 inch prison while there is a 6 foot door in the same room.
I think God would prefer we didn’t live in fear but we are human and that means sometimes we find ourselves living in the 12 inches. Worry, Anxiety and stress weigh us down and make us believe the 12 inches is our only home.
The Gentle God.
God has a gentle way about Him in helping us see outside of ourselves and the circumstances surrounding us. But ultimately we can choose to ignore Him and the hope He offers.
I don’t think that makes Him mad, I think it probably hurts but God is love and love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things…
I think because God is perfect love He has perfect hope and endurance that even when we ignore Him and try our own way… He doesn’t give up on us… ever.
God has not given up on you and regardless of what you are facing, you will not always be living in the 12 inches of fear. He is there to bring you hope and offer you healing where you are…
Be that in the 12 inches of fear or the 6 foot door of freedom. God is the God “who is with us”, and our fear doesn’t scare Him away.