Thursday, April 4, 2013

Peeping-Toms and Prayer

We have a hummingbird.

Or I suppose, a hummingbird has us. After all, we live in his territory. And we never thought to ask permission to move in, we just did. I often wonder what he thought about that. It probably made him grumpy. If I had been away on my annual migration and come home to find a large boxy house planted smack in the middle of my territory, I'd be pretty grumpy about it. Even if it did come with flowers.

At any rate, our hummingbird has been in the yard for several years, and makes his rounds several times each day, surveying his empire. He carefully checks on each plant in our back yard as if he planted them himself. I don't suppose he remarks on how much they've grown or if he even notices that they need to be watered. He pays very careful attention to the blossoms on the apple tree, and the flowers in the side garden, harvesting what nectar he can find. Then he diligently checks each and every succulent, cactus, flower, herb and vegetable to see if any of them have blossomed yet. It is his job, and he is very good at it.

One day I sat outside our on the patio and waited for the hummingbird to stop by. He did, of course, because that is his routine. He didn't seem to even notice that I was there, although he may have been scolding me the whole time. I have not yet learned to speak hummingbird.

The most curious thing about our hummer however, is that he's a voyeur. He is a tiny peeping-Tom. He likes to peek inside our windows. At first we thought he might see flashes of color in our house and was investigating. And then I thought perhaps he saw his own reflection and was threatening a perceived enemy which might have strayed into his territory. However, he does this every day and does not seem to be upset by what he finds.

The hummer hasn't slowed down long enough to explain why he peeks in our windows. Yet each day at noon, and again at 4:00 pm, the hummer flies up to the windows in the living room and hovers in front of each one. Then he maneuvers over to the side of the house and looks into each of the windows of the family room, and the french door in the kitchen. In order. Every day. Twice a day.

Perhaps its a hummingbird form of prayer. Each day the hummer pauses to catch a glimpse of a realm which he can perceive, yet cannot quite grasp. It's as if he's peeking into another dimension, where beings so different, so "other" than him, reside.

We do the very same thing. Every Sunday morning, and perhaps at other times on other days, we try to catch a glimpse of God. We know God is there - we've seen the evidence, we've heard the stories, we've read the Bible. We know that God somehow hears our prayers and answers them, even if we are unsure of the exact mechanism for that process. Yet we still crave the chance to catch a glimpse into that other dimension, where beings so different, so "other" than us, reside. We too are tiny peeping-Toms, hovering by God's windows, yearning for answers.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Susan! I love that God has given some people the gift of seeing everything as an object lesson!