Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A defining moment ...

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 . . . ><>

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