Find part 1 here.
As the bird continued to flit around the silent garage door motor, my mom and I watched him grow weaker. His wings stopped closing tight against his body. His little body heaved. His body leaned sideways off his perch.
I sat on the carpeted garage steps and looked up “how to get a hummingbird out of a garage.” Thankfully, Thriving Home had a post with exactly that title. As we skimmed the explanation of why hummingbirds get trapped in garages, I worried when I saw that hummingbirds could only last a few hours without nourishment. It certainly explained why our trapped friend was drooping so badly.
Thriving Home suggested using a rake to coax the little fella to perch so we could safely carry him outside to open skies. Well, our rake was in the shed, but we did have a broom with a red dust pan that would work similarly. I plucked a flower off of our butterfly bush outside and tucked it between the broom handle and dust pan, hoping that at least the sweet nectar might entice the little guy away from the ceiling, which was currently covered in red dots from the hummingbird’s hungry tongue.
It wasn’t working. I carried a ladder over to where the hummingbird flitted and held the broom closer to the bird’s beak. He landed on the garage door motor, not a foot from my face. His feathers were ruffled, his eyes were glazed, and his head started drooping back. I was afraid he would fall and die on me. I shoved the dustpan under his little body so his carcass wouldn’t land on my shoulder or foot.
In a burst of energy, the bird flew back up. My mom grabbed the broom from me. She started to cheer. “He’s on the broom!”
I scrambled down the ladder and followed her out of the garage. Sure enough, the little bird sat peacefully on top of the dustpan. We headed for the butterfly bush so the bird could find food. Two feet from the purple blooms, he flew into the night. The red sky of dusk left his little body in shadow, and we watched until his shadow got lost in those of the trees.
It amazed me how much of saving the hummingbird involved saving him from himself. Had his beak pointed at the ground once, he might have seen all the red lights and sustenance we brought for his survival. But not even putting the bloom to his face could entice the bird to eat.
I was reminded of how often God has to redeem us from ourselves. He redeemed us from sin once and for all, but so often we bump against the ceiling, leaving tiny red marks, when the whole world awaits us outside. When the hummingbird eats, he causes plants to grow. When humans work with each other, we can cause the world to grow. Our purpose is outside: to care for the world God gave us and the people God gave us to work with.
No matter how many times we bump against the ceiling in God’s name, if He has the garage door open, we will die trying to find our own way out above us. Thankfully, God’s pretty good with a rake, or a dustpan attached to a broom, to lend us a perch.