As I gazed at the hummingbird cradled in my hand, the traumatized bird stared apprehensively back at me. She seemed to be asking, “What are you going to do with me?”
Just moments before, my mother had called me outside. It was night but in the porch light we saw the little bird flapping helplessly on the ground. I noticed that it kept using its beak to yank at a string it couldn’t pull loose.
“Hi, little one,” I said as I crept nearer. “Don’t be scared. Let me help you.”
The bird flapped a short distance away, but I easily scooped her up in my hand. She made a final helpless effort and then lay completely still, fixing one eye intently on me. The word “surrender” came to mind. It was as if she had completely entrusted herself to me.
She was so light I could barely feel her in my hand. I talked soothingly as I began to examine her little body, gently pulling out one leg at a time and turning her over. Then I saw the problem. The string was attached to her tail. One quick tug and it came off.
She was so still that I was afraid she’d gone into shock and would die if I did not release her soon. Lightly I stroked her satiny back and murmured reassurance.
My mother and I looked for a safe place to leave her and found a brick wall under an overhang that would keep her dry for the night. Gently, I set her down. She remained motionless. Would she recover?
Imagine our joy the next morning to find her gone! It made me so happy to think that I’d been able to help her.
Hummingbirds generally weigh less than 0.2 oz, so any added weight prevents flight. Even a 2″ string. It got me thinking about burdens I carry around that hamper my life. That keep me grounded. And how like that hummingbird, I try desperately to slough off heavy problems in my own strength.
But then my Savior comes with gentle, soothing words, “Don’t be afraid. Let me help.” The hummingbird appeared to surrender and trust. That is the lesson for me, too.
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest . . . for I am gentle and humble in heart. Matthew 11:28-29
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