The Wings of Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul . . .

                                          Emily Dickinson

I was struggling with contentment.  The city felt crowded, scary, and full of sadness.  My husband works hard to provide this lovely old home in a safe neighborhood, but I was having trouble being grateful.  As usual, I was longing for wide-open countryside.  “Please change my negative attitude, Lord,” I prayed.  “I need your help!”

Have you noticed how swiftly God answers our earnest prayers about a change of heart?  Change of circumstance prayers can take much longer, especially if it is God’s will for me (or my loved one) to stay in and learn from the current circumstance.  Certainly, it is always God’s will for our hearts to be more loving, compassionate, grateful . . . .  His answer swept in on hummingbird wings!


I photographed this hummingbird last year on a visit to Montana.

During our end-of-summer vacation to the mountains, hummingbirds were abundant.  What a blessing!  Even when I lived in the suburbs, I scarcely saw them.  Multiple pairs of buzzing wings gracing the feeders next to the mountain cabins and hotels was astonishing!

My gracious heavenly Father changed my attitude about my city by sending me hummingbirds!  I could hardly believe it when I glanced out our kitchen window to spy one sucking nectar from the ‘Grandpa Ott’ morning glory that had sprung up from seed.  (I hadn’t even planted it!)  Later that same day, I saw a green hummer above the lorapetalum.  Thank you, Lord, for this gift!!!!

Suddenly, I was enchanted by my little backyard.  It became a sanctuary in the midst of this bustling city.  I researched and ordered a feeder.  For four days it hung outside, untouched.  I didn’t see a single flash of wings in my garden.  When I was about to lose hope, a fairy bird came to drink!

God is creative, and He knows and loves each one of us so completely.  I didn’t know what I needed to make me feel more at home in this urban environment, but God did.


Of course hummingbirds cannot change the face of this city, help the homeless, stop the violence . . . , but they can make this woman gaze out at the world with expectancy.  Where will I glimpse the beauty of the Lord today?  Thank you, Jesus, for the hope of hummingbirds!!!

P.S.  Feeding hummingbirds is easier than I imagined.  There is no need for food coloring, commercial nectar, or boiling of water.  Simply fill a measuring cup with 1 cup of water.  Add ¼ cup of white sugar. (NOT organic!  The iron in organic sugar can be toxic for the little birds.)  Stir until clear, and pour into the feeder.  Be mesmerized!  (Change out the “nectar” every few days.)

P.P.S.  I purchased this feeder because it is so easy to clean, has a built-in ant mote, and has a perch so the birds can rest as they sip.