We sat on the front porch this morning, early, before the temperatures pushed us inside. My dear husband and coffee and donuts and sunrise.
Before the day arrived, my ukelele and I had worshiped softly while the hummingbirds battled over the feeder at the edge of the porch.
After Steve returned with donuts for our early morning date, the hummingbird battles increased. It's astonishing to watch them in their territorial struggles ----- beating their tiny wings almost 60 times each second, sometimes even faster as they defend their cache of sugar water. We talked. They battled. We laughed and watched as they flew maneuvers black hawk helicopters would envy.
Then two collided,
just over our heads --------
and two tiny feathers slowly floated to the porch floor.
Steve retrieved the tufts of fluff quickly for me; any faint wisp of breeze would have stolen them away. He gently placed them in my hand. He knows my love to hold a feather that's flown in silence, high in the blue above, and carried wind in its wings over mountain tops and seen all this old earth as little and distant and not-so-very-important beneath it.
To hold a feather is to touch a bit of something that's traveled freely in the space between the dirt of earth and the holy of Heaven.
Yes – i'm a bit ridiculous about it. But, the Father let's me tuck under His wing often enough ----- I love when a feather comes near.
Holding the minute, wispy feathers in my hand while we talked the morning away, I then opened my Bible and taped them inside. A blue colored pencil gave a bit of background trying to make way for the white ends of the miniscule feathers to be seen. It did not work. For so faint was their petite feather strands, they hid under the tape, as if they were shy or secretive or wishing to camouflage themselves on the holy page.
And I thought on that for a bit.
Wishing I could hide myself sometimes, taped to a holy page.
Moving through the morning and the day ------ my heart seemed captivated by the whole of the morning and the whispered thoughts of my heart began to meet in the flow of................ this..............
So much turmoil has boiled up in the world of America with the presidential elections looming and racial strife bubbling and lingering struggles of a pandemic and economical grievances ----- so much is shaking at the center of so many souls. And for those of us who pray, it's been like our very breath. I've had little to nothing to say about any of the above.
Not because it doesn't matter.
Not because it doesn't effect me.
Not for lack of care or concern.
Not for ignorance or aloofness either.
The hummingbirds battled this morning. Until a collision unfolded and feathers flew and injury came and something fell, there was loss, there was impact, it mattered. And it was a tiny picture for my soul to grasp hold of a “see”.
We people. We battle over things or opinions or thoughts or feelings. We have our own versions of “sugar water treasure”. And it's all well and good and even important to some degree. But when we collide and something falls, when there is loss, when hearts and souls are wounded --------- we are in err.
Love is the way.
Love endures all things.
Love will not be found colliding itself into another for the sake of an opinion or feeling or stance.
Love is kind.
Love is patient.
Love knows that everyone matters, God says it.
We people ------- we tend to think that what we think about this or that matters so very much.
Hummingbirds collided today. Tiny. Weightless. Hard-working hummingbirds. They crashed into one another and -------- part of what holds them in flight, fell.
I've watched quietly as many have voiced their stance, their opinion, their strong words flying, their line drawn in a place where there is no sand. And i've grieved it. I'm not special or holy or better than or “above” it all. I'm right in the middle of it and grieving.
I'm not intelligent enough to understand how a political party can maneuver great waves of influence to cause currents of confusion and compel hard-working people to suddenly demand this, require that, point fingers at one another, and defy authority ------- any authority ------ all authority ----- because they think they've grasped something all others have missed. And suddenly they act as if it is their job to teach and educate others based on their grievances. Oh God.
There I've said it.
I dug deep and sought the dregs of my heart, mind, and soul to try and find out ----- am I racist. The loud masses were saying if you're a white person living in America and especially if you grew up in the south ----- then for sure you are racist ------ and “you don't even know it, so you must first learn that you are, before you can change, to become something you should have been all along...”......
So I dug.
I read books ---- numerous books.
I asked questions.
I asked others if they saw any racial attitudes in me.
And here goes ---- i'm going to say it ----- softly and loudly all at the same time.
I ------- am -------- not -------- a-------- racist --------- person!
I'm white. I grew up in the south. I've loved people of every color in places all over this world. I'm a mess in many ways, I have a tendency towards fear, I can become anxious over even a loud noise, I have to work d-a-i-l-y to cling to the Robes of my Father above for healing of mind and grace upon grace and I know what the dew of mercy tastes like every morning.
Oh i'm so far from actually being the way my Abba-God-King-Healer-Father sees me.
But He is steadily, patiently, kindly, firmly and gently working on me still, still, still.
I adore Him. He is good.
When I asked Him if I was a racist unaware ------ He paused and flowed love into my heart with a faint whispering that sounded like, “I love you, you love others, that's our deal”.
I contacted a young lady i'd met in Uganda because she wrote words that stung as she accused missionaries she had met of being racist. She's a beautiful black woman who grew up in America. When I met her in Uganda, she told me how “white” she felt, and I was confused. She said she came to serve in Uganda because she felt she had grown up with so much privilege and love and opportunities, she felt she needed to serve those in Africa who had not had all the opportunities she had always known. I thought her one of the most lovely people. Then when the racial strifes unfolded after the George Floyd death/murder, she wrote posts that spoke very differently. Suddenly, she had major grievances saying she'd grown up under a weight of racial persecution. Those words were a paradigm shift from words she spoke while serving others in Uganda. Confusion could not hide. What a disappointment to my heart and soul. I asked her if Steve and I were included in her grouping of missionaries she accused of racism while in the field. She replied that we were not included in that group. But she went on to say that our opinions about Harry Potter (sorry, we're not on his fan-page) had hurt her and made her feel......(she went on)......
and it seems she held this against us.
You see, when asked about racism, she could not point her finger at us, but she would use these dark days of strife to voice any grievance. Sort of an ala carte of offenses now on the racist platform.
Aren't we --- God's kids ----- called to love and forgive ---- and give grace. It's freely given to us from above.
Shouldn't we be the people found faithfully caring for one another?
It took me a few days to work through the confusion of her views.
I've spoken with some friends who have expressed passionate views during these high-tension days and i've grieved.
I've spoken with some precious friends in Kenya and asked them many questions. Are Steve and I racist in our actions, reactions or interactions? Oh how I thank God for their words.
I've had Kenyan friends say ------ we can not begin to grasp why blacks or whites in America would destroy their good country in this way.
One friend said ----- it was a black person in Africa who kidnapped and sold another black person into slavery ----- and many still do it even today. It is not a monster that was created by the white people.
Another said ------ if only I could have been taken to America (and to clarify, she actually meant even as a slave)---- I would have suffered there rather than suffer here ----- and at least my descendants would have had a chance to rise above. I would have gladly suffered there to change the paths my children walk on.
I've been told by the BLM movement I couldn't compare the two worlds ---- been told I shouldn't compare the two worlds ----- but i'm tired of being forced to ignore the raw reality --------- the suffering i've witnessed with my very own eyes in Africa ------- makes my knees weak. Daughters sold into slavery by neighbors or thugs or even family members. Not sold to a white person. But sold. And so many beautiful people working so hard to rescue them. There ARE still so many good people in this world. And what are they doing during these dark days? They are steadily, quietly, working and praying and helping every person they can. They are out there ----- doing beautiful, breathtaking work. They are unseen, they are quiet, they are busy, they are loving.
And the most beautiful souls I have met in all this wide-deep-long world ----------- are the ones who have suffered deeply in some way, then grabbed hold of Jesus, laid themselves in His hands, and came through the fire of their suffering knowing that He is good and His blood heals and love is the answer and what they think or feel or want is like a passing breath when they lift their eyes up to the One who adores them and is preparing a Home for them and holds their tears like treasures to His heart.
Beautiful ones are suffering even as I type this.
Precious babies are being murdered and ripped from the place where Holiness is forming them.
Servants of Love carrying the Good News to dark places are persecuted and tortured, beaten and murdered ----- it's happening right now ----- while you read.
This world is ruthless and cruel. But we are not suppose to join in.
The accuser is being loud these days. But we are not suppose to join in.
Every life matters. E-v-e-r-y-l-i-f-e-m-a-t-t-e-r-s.
Every life needs love. The dying one needs love. The tiny one needs love. The tired one, the beaten one, the lonely one, the hungry one, the accused one, the quiet one, the screaming one, the kind one ------- everyone needs love.
We can not, should not, must not let anyone, any cause, any position, any opinion compel us to join in with the masses and their movements. We have a call. We have One who stands, we fit perfectly ----
right behind Him. And He is no wimp. He is all-powerful. He is the One who WILL END IT ALL.
We, His kids, must prove that we trust Him, and we believe Him, and we know a day of vengeance is coming and it is HIS.
We, His kids, we must prove that what His Word says is true ----- in our hearts, in our words, in our actions, and in our reactions. And His Word says we are to Love God and love others. All others.
The strife and stances and opinions and arguments are so much like the battling hummingbirds on my porch this morning. Collisions are happening among beautiful people who really need to pause and remember ----- the One that made us tells us to love each other. When love grows, hate fades. When love is chosen, accusing is quieted.
When the hummingbirds were at war with one another -------- not far away ------- high in the tree ----- a fierce hawk screeched as he watched the drama ------- and he waited.
He waited for his chance to kill and destroy,
something beautiful and tiny -- that sips nectar from flowers and causes no harm to any living thing.
Except perhaps............ to its own kind.