One of the defining moments during my time in New Mexico this past July was during the taking of this picture.
I had just finished the Saturday evening Back-Country Protestant Chapel service at Cimarroncito Camp at Philmont. On the porch of the staff cabin were several hummingbird feeders, which were actively being circled about by at least a dozen different hummingbirds.
One of the staff members advised me to put my finger up to one of the feeders, and then told me to "stay really still."
After a couple of moments, this little female hummingbird came to rest on my finger, and began to feed without hint of any threat. She stayed there for about a minute . . . perhaps one of the longest minutes of my life.
The finger the hummingbird was sitting on was the pointy finger of my right hand. It's the finger I use to point at people, things, the line on a map, etc.
When people ask me for directions, I usually point with this finger.
When someone isn't paying a attention (and should be), I sometimes point with this finger.
When I am making a point in a meeting or discussion with others, and I am saying something I believe to be important, I will tap or "thunk" the table with this finger (the proverbial "driving home the point" gesture).
And, when I serve others . . . this finger comes to play as well . . . for it is on my dominant hand, my right hand . . . the hand I extend to others.
This Sunday I am going to be preaching at the downtown campus at FUMC-Grapevine. We are in the middle of a sermon series titled, "Confessions from the Pastors." My confessions will be that for many years I thought the world revolved around me.
That all changed the day I came to realize that God is for EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. On that day, I began looking at others not as different from me . . . but as my brothers and sisters, the children of a loving God. On that day, I began to see that my narrow and selfish focus on my needs was blinding me to the needs of others that I could do something about. On that day was born the "servant spirit" I try to live with on a daily basis.
I hope in the process . . . that the finger I pointed at others, as a way to declare how they were different, and how I was better . . . has become part of the hand that serves others as often as possible.
During the taking of the picture above, I came to understand that I was actually serving a little female hummingbird. The tenderness of the moment struck my heart and soul deeply. I'm 6'6" tall, and weigh in the 280's. I hope you can imagine in your mind the picture . . .
A really big guy . . . serving a tiny little hummingbird.
A very humbling experience. I hope I am man enough, as a person of faith and as a pastor, to take the time to learn the lesson I had the opportunity to learn that day.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>