Monday, April 24, 2017
Hummingbirds and Parenting
Yesterday was one of those Aicardi Syndrome mom days. I couldn’t really think or do. Whenever there is one in our Aicardi family who is clinging to life, it kind of paralyzes me. Knocks the wind out. Yesterday was no different, as we got the news that our friends are taking their daughter home on hospice to make the transition to heaven. It weighed heavy.
I escaped to a comfy outside spot. It was a beautiful day to pray and read and listen to the wind and the song of the mockingbird.
I read the story of George Washington Carver. Such a fascinating man. Born into slavery, he became one of the most influential scientific minds in American history. He discovered over 300 uses for the peanut and virtually saved the southern farming economy at the turn of the century. He had a habit of waking at 4:00 AM to pray. He would ask God to reveal mysteries of creation. And He would pray around this verse:
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.” And God revealed to him why he made the peanut. Fascinating!
Almost immediately after I read that verse, a hummingbird buzzed in front of me. It was as if she was looking at me, almost making eye contact. I was fascinated and delighted. She paused for a moment on the tip of the agave plant in front of me. I love to see them in stillness. I had considered it sort of an anomaly in the life of the hummingbird. She then flew up to a perch in the tree beside me. And she sat for 5 minutes in stillness. I asked God to allow this bird to teach me, as Job had suggested. She sat. She was still. I always see hummingirds buzzing and working and moving, but she took time to be still. And I need to be still. Specifically in the presence of God. As Mark Batterson says, “Get into God’s presence. That is the solution to every problem. That is the answer to every question…the Holy Spirit will reveal things that can only be discovered in the presence of God.” So true. I decided that was the hummingbird’s lesson for me.
She flew off. But then she returned a minute later. This time, she seemed to be spreading herself out on a tiny nest. Could it be? I went inside to google a picture of a hummingbird nest, and there it was. It had the circumference of a quarter, and the caption said few people ever see them because they are so beautifully camouflaged. They are carefully knit together with soft petals, leaves and silk from the mama. A soft nest for two tiny bean-sized eggs. I got to watch her in action, and I felt like God was speaking to me again. This mama. She’s doing everything she can to take care of her children. She is doing her best. She is doing her part. And then she has to rely on me to do my part.
Parenting can be so hard. Parenting toddlers is hard. Parenting kids with struggles (which is all of them at one time or another) is hard. Parenting teenage girls is hard. Parenting a child with a terminal condition is really hard too. That’s no surprise, I’m sure. But we are not alone. We are in a partnership with the One who created them. We do our part, and then we can pray and trust and pray and trust and allow God to work out some of the heavy lifting on his end. We can pray for those impossible things and then wait in stillness. In peace. I told my girls about my encounter with the hummingbird. Olivia asked, “Do you think hummingbirds pray?” Probably.:) She sure knows a lot about parenting and I’m pretty sure I know who taught her.
I was hurting. I went to sit with God. I prayed for our friends. I read his Word. His bird came to say hello. And then she taught me about God. Mind blown for the day.
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
Maybe you need to let God to do some of the heavy lifting today.
Posted by Kerry D. at 10:56 AM