We have all suffered these past few weeks, I’m brokenhearted that we cannot get this under control. I can’t stop thinking of all the lives that were lost, including George Floyd. I often wonder, in this unbalanced world we live in, if we are ever going to get it right. I can’t watch the news any longer. I wanted to hear the names of the innocent lives that were lost during the protest/riots but the media disregarded them. In my opinion, they are the sacrificial lambs. I give honor to those whose lives matter just as much any other human being. I spent severals hour searching for their names on the internet: David Dorn, David Patrick Underwood, Chris Beaty, Italia Kelly, Calvin L. Horton, Jr., James Scurlock, David McAtee, and Dorian Murrel. These were the only names I could find; the others who lost their lives were simply listed as persons shot and killed. Forgive me for not being able to find their names. Please say their names and pray for their families. Pray for the police officer Shay K. Mikalonis, who was shot in the head in Las Vegas; he is on life support. Please pray for his recovery. All I have in me is prayer, and I’m struggling with that as well. I want to make sure that we all realize that these Black Lives Matter too!
Saving My Sanity
We are still spending most of our time at home. So I decided to take up birdwatching to clear my head of all the unavoidable anguish.
Mike first spotted the hummingbird’s nest on April 22nd. I cannot express our excitement with this discovery, so I immediately went outside to take a few photos. Each day we both carefully watched the mini bird’s nest. Since I am a novice at birdwatching, I watched a few YouTube videos and instantly elevated myself to an expert. I learned that soon two tiny hummingbirds would be hatched. Both Mike and I did everything in our power to keep our grandsons away from the little family.
We had already put off the house painting but we were hesitant to invite the family over for a barbecue because of the nesting hummingbird. The two chicks hatched on May 20th, so we warned the boys to stay clear of the nest. Instead the boys found a lizard to occupy their time. Before torturing the poor thing, they baptized it in the St. Francis fountain. They also lathered it with sunscreen so that the creature could breathe better. I watched as they performed the baptism and thought that I could rescue the lizard, but by that time their actions were irreversible. Even though they freed the little guy, I doubt that it survived their impish hands. The boys swam, and, thank God, they never disturbed the nest.
I named the bird Hadassah because it is the Hebrew name of Queen Esther. Malachi and Judith were the names I gave the chicks. I became a birder, a term used for a serious bird watcher. Hadassah knew my every move and was annoyed to see me; she would fly to a nearby bottlebrush tree and watch me from a distance as I took one shot after another of her adorable chicks.
Three O’Clock Prayer
Ever since the pandemic I’ve been praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with my grandchildren. I have also, on a daily basis since March 13th, been posting a prayer reminder on both Facebook and Instagram. I asked the Lord for a sign on how much longer I had to do these postings. I prayed about the situation and guess what? The Lord answered me. He said that as soon as I see the bird leave the nest, I could stop reminding everyone to pray the 3 o’clock prayer. For eighty-three (83) days I posted reminders for everyone to pray.
Malachi was the only bird left in the nest. I never doubt God, but I questioned how in the world was I actually going to see Malachi fly away. Any birder knows the signs of the hummingbirds; as soon as they are perched on the edge of the nest, they are ready to fly. I never saw Judith leave but Malachi was hesitant; he was uncertain what his future would be like after leaving the nest. Who could blame him? On Tuesday I noticed that he was flapping his tiny wings more than usual. I told Mike that I was going to witness this event. A serious birder has to work around the bird watching. I took several photos of him striking a commanding pose. I prayed that I would witness the blessed event. On Wednesday, Lucas and Jacob stayed with us while Sonja got a much-needed hair cut. After lunch I felt that this was the day Malachi would leave. His mother, Hadassah, came to feed him on four different occasions. She was fueling him up for the flight. Sonja and the entire family thought I was overdoing my birdwatching, but I didn’t care. They stayed for dinner but after they left I took one of the kitchen chairs, sat on the small porch and observed, taking over 20 videos. When I got the notification that the battery on my phone was low I ran inside to get a portable charger. Mike came by and, nodding his head in doubt, called me “Lindooties (my nickname) why?’ A birder is never distracted, so I gave Mike a broad smile and continued the watch. I checked to see when the sun would set and felt certain that he would take off right before sunset. I went back inside to clean the kitchen, but I had my phone ready to film this historic event. At 7:54 p.m. I grabbed my cell phone one last time and I captured Malachi flying toward the bottlebrush tree. It was a miracle. You can watch the flight of Malachi by clicking here: IMG_4001
The Small Miracle
All week long I have been praying for a miracle – that all this violence would stop in our country, for people to respect each other, and that they would walk in the love of God. The Lord used the smallest bird to reassure me that He is in control. I also asked the Lord to reveal truth in every situation in our lives. The change has to start from within; only then can we make our country just. The Lord allowed me to see Malachi flying away; this represented that nothing is impossible for Him. God is always giving us direction. We need to pray with expectation that He will answer our plea. Never give up, because He is still the miracle worker.
The following day Mike carefully took down the nest before the tree people arrived. We cut back all the branches of the bougainvillea to prepare for the painters. We all could use a new coat of paint, not only to cover-up the old but to start afresh.
Micah 6:8 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
To do justice has to do with our human behavior toward others; treat everyone fairly. To love kindness is to be gentle, sympathetic, and gracious toward others. To walk humbly is to listen to the revealed will of God.