He must have been seduced by a lone bleeding heart blooming in my window, or was it the scent of mint from the plant next to it? The metal screen covering the bars on my window didn’t connect at the top and he slipped through.
When did he discover he was trapped? Was it when Cleopatra pawed at the window, noting his fluttering movement in the window? Or when Pharaoh joined her, adding their mewling cries to the hummingbird’s frantic fluttering. First flying up, then down, grabbing metal screen and trying to pierce his way through.
It was the cats who drew my attention to the closed window—thankfully closed so that I could enjoy the air conditioner after a short walk in the summer sun.
I locked the cats in my bedroom, pulled out my stepladder and wondered what to do. I pulled out a long knife in a plastic sheath, and tried to direct the bird toward the only hole it could have flown in through, but he was too panicked and kept flying in the direction he wanted, open air and a tree in the distance, not the closed in side of the window covered shaded by greenery.
Finally, I realized I would have to catch him. Me? With bad back and wobbly knees? I said a prayer, and reached into the window. I was too short. I was going to have to do something I’d never done before if the hummingbird was going to be rescued. I focused on the rescue and not on me, and worked my leg into the kitchen sink, with one leg on the ladder. Now I could bend enough into the window, and reached for the bird. On my second attempt, my right hand-held him gently within closed fingers. But he was struggling and I didn’t want to squeeze tighter and hurt him. Without thinking I cupped my other hand over him so I could release my right hand a bit. The bird struggled less, but I knew, he was just waiting for his moment.
Now I had to descend the ladder and get him safely out of the house. Easier said than done. My right leg was in the sink and my left leg was on the far right side of the ladder next to the sink, and I had no hands free. I tried to bring my right leg down onto the next step of the ladder, but it was too far for me to bend without grasping something. I did the unthinkable, I rested my right foot to the left of my left foot, and then somehow, hands free managed to shuffle my feet into position. I still needed to get down the ladder… so I leaned my arms on the top of the step-ladder and worked my way down.
NOW I could adjust my fingers better. The poor bird was absolutely still. I’m sure it had no idea what was going to happen next. I could adjust my fingers and get one hand free, at last, to open the door, work down the 5 steps in my entryway and get under the tree.
I had barely opened my hand when like a dart the bird had shot free and flown to the nearest branch. It sat there panting looking up at the sky, while I looked at it in wonder… amazed by what had happened.
The hummingbird had been so tiny. One misstep, one squeeze too hard and it would have been dead in an instant. If I had let it go too soon, it might have died trying to get out of my house. The potential power I had over this poor innocent creature.
When it sat flew to the branch, for a brief second, I wanted it to acknowledge me like you see some animals do in the YouTube videos. Just a little gratitude? I had saved it? Didn’t it know that if the window had been open, my cats would have gotten to it instantly…
But he was, after all, only an innocent and wild hummingbird, and I was only a human being—not it’s creator.
And I began to wonder, how many times has God tried to point me in the right direction, but in my panic, I just couldn’t see His hand trying to guide me? How many times has he had to wait until I was too weak to fight Him, so He could rescue me and bring me to safety—only for me to fly off in my own direction yet again, with not one thought of gratitude towards His saving grace?
I am thankful I had the privilege to rescue the humming bird, and to be reminded, in such a special way, of God’s enduring love for us.
Dear Helen and Sue, (and my other readers)
You are so right– the Lord truly protected me. I thought for a second about what I was risking, but I just couldn’t NOT rescue the poor little bird and he was so happy to be free!
I’m glad my experience encouraged you both. I’ve gotten a few emails from others as well, also sharing how encouraged they were… God is so good!
Now, you want to laugh? I’m home with a sprained ankle… but more on that later – and I didn’t do it resucing anyone… just walking down the sidewalk minding my own business!
I thank you also for sharing this gripping story. Most of all that of our heavenly Father’s care for us. Just reading this morning Ps 91. His protection. Then you encouraged with this.
Wow, Debbie. Knowing you, this could have gone horribly wrong for you in a number of ways – multiple obstacles and potentials for disaster. God was watching you as you did your bit in saving this little bird (I love them too, they’re so beautiful)! And thanks for the message behind it.