Thursday last my wife spotted a female Black-Chinned Hummingbird buzzing around the porch. During the warmer months we always have a feeder there, so the next day, my day off, I busied myself with cleaning out, filling and hanging the six feeders that we maintain around the house. For the last couple of days she has been coming to the feeder outside my office window, visiting me like a heavenly emissary during my prayers. Over breakfast my wife noted two of them in the back yard, chasing one another off of any of the four feeders hanging there.

For me, more than flowers on the trees, more than the greening of the grass, the return of the hummingbirds signals Springtime. How appropriate that it be during this week, Holy Week, when we Christians walk with Jesus through Good Friday to Easter Morning. For me the message is the central message of the faith: There is life after death, there is hope in the darkness, there are hummingbirds after the winter. That hope is enduring beyond expectation. Who would have guessed that a little 2-oz. flying machine that isn’t even supposed to be able to fly goes all the way to the northern coast of South America for the winter, and then returns to nest here, almost 3000 miles away? Who would have thought that the spunky Rufus Hummingbird migrates from northwestern Colombia all the way to Washington State? They have been recorded flying across the Caribbean, from the coast of Louisiana to the norther coast of Venezuela in one direct flight. They are my Easter chicks and Easter Bunny. In them I perceive eternal truths.

These little stories of our world tell me that the faith I practice is not removed from the reality I live in, but is rooted in it. If it is rooted in nature, as my own existence is, then my own life can expect the same kind of durable, unlikely hope.


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