God dropped a gravely injured hummingbird (Oscar) into her life to reveal profound spiritual truths about trust, obedience, the love of the Creator, and finding blessings in brokenness. She became the host of a hummingbird hotel (with spa of course), learned how to be a hummingbird taxi, and how to handle a hummingbird temper tantrum.
Using lessons she learned from Oscar and other true stories from critters in her garden, Lisa has gently woven these truths into simple lessons that point to the hand of God all around us.
“Ask the beasts… and the birds of the heavens…Or speak to the earth…and let the fish of the sea declare to you…the LORD…in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” Job 12:7-10
Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird Excerpt
Chapter 1 – A Tiny Treasure
When I first spotted the mysterious wad, immediately I had grand hopes of discovering some sort of little treasure. I am familiar with the ending of the curious cat but was compelled to investigate nonetheless. By the size and shape it could have been an owl pellet! Because owls have no teeth with which to chew their meals, they swallow them whole. They also–uhm–“release” the undigested portion whole, in a pellet form, just about the size of this suspicious little gem. I drew closer to the twisted glob and realized it wasn’t what I hoped for at all.
Oh, no! I thought. Horrified, I instantly reached down to him. We have hosted many hummingbirds throughout the spring and summer, and this appeared to be one that met an untimely demise. His little body was twisted in an unnatural position. His poor, tiny head had been stripped of all feathers on top and on one side, revealing only raw, purple and blue skin. There appeared to be fishing line tangled all around his mouth. His condition suggested he might have been run over by a lawn mower. I gingerly lifted up the bruised and limp little bird and cradled him in the palm of my hand, amazed at the beauty of the tiny creature and sorry for the suffering he must have endured.
Against all hope, I became aware of a faint, rapid thumping of a little heartbeat against my hand. Thankful for the opportunity to comfort him in his final moments of life, I ever so gently stroked his broken little body and brought him close to my face while whispering, God knows when a sparrow falls, and He knows all about little hummingbirds, too. Realistically, it was more a prayer to comfort me than an expectation that he actually understood what I had said to him. Fighting back tears, I blew softly into his face to let him know he was not alone. He blinked his eye – the one that wasn’t swollen shut. Yes, he heard me, and he knew I was there with him and perhaps he understood that God was as well.
I don’t know how much animals understand. I do know my responsibility, according to the Word of God in the book of Genesis, is to “rule over (or have dominion over) the creatures of the earth.” Surely this would include taking care of one who has fallen. God spared him long enough for me to comfort him a bit, and for that, I was grateful. I just absolutely love the way God works and have found that His timing is perfect, always.
Continuing to bathe him with my warm breath, I slowly and as tenderly as possible, began to untangle him from the fishing line in and around his mouth. My desire was to give him as much comfort as possible. He blinked again and tried to lift his poor, bruised, and bald little head.
As the untangling progressed, it became apparent that the “line” was his tongue! Poor little fellow! Bless his sweet little heart! He must have wondered, “Why is this woman pulling on my tongue?” He was having a bad enough day already without me tugging on his tongue, of all things. I chuckled at the absurdity and apologized, “Sorry about that, little guy!”
Gradually, he regained consciousness and his tongue retracted into its proper place. He looked at me, with his one good eye – not with fear but rather with curiosity. I continued to examine him for injuries and found that one wing was not in the correct position, and a tiny spot of blood was on the front of his neck. So, still holding him in one hand, I took a paper towel with the other hand and dampened one corner, folding it over to make a swab to lightly sponge his wounds. I stroked and tucked the tiny wing back into the proper position.
By now, he was more conscious than not but still too weak to resist my “mothering.” He didn’t have the strength to fly, but he did seem content to rest in the warmth of my hand.
Because most acquaintances begin with an exchange of names, I, not knowing his hummingbird name, decided to call him Oscar. You know, the Grouch. Both are green, a mess, and more than a little grumpy. It seemed to fit.
Because of the severity of his injuries, I feared he would perish before I could document this precious moment so, while he was still alive I took a few pictures of Oscar in my hand. I marveled at the opportunity to hold such a small, magnificent creature. I continued to assure him of my intention to help him to the very best of my ability. He was truly a pitiful sight – tiny, helpless, bruised, and bald – but alive!
About Author Lisa Worthey Smith
Lisa has been called the parable teacher. Finding truths in everyday events and nature itself, she gently weaves those truths to reveal a pattern, plan, and purpose intentionally designed by the loving hand of The Creator.
Her writing career began in earnest after God allowed a time of brokenness that put her on her knees before Him. Her own illness and a severely injured little hummingbird she named Oscar were both used of God to demonstrate such profound truths that she was drawn to chronicle this remarkable experience. Though it involved suffering, it also was the source of incredible joy – she calls it “the blessing of brokenness.”
Lisa and her husband (and their 20 pounds of cuteness wrapped in a schnauzer suit) live in north Alabama where she teaches an in-depth Bible study class, and spends time in her garden with her Creator.