Distracted by God

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

I set up a new prayer space this summer on my back deck. Every day I sit there with my Bible and journal trying to spend time with God. But like the child who gets distracted by a butterfly, all my efforts get derailed by the pair of hummingbirds that visit my feeder.

It’s mesmerizing to watch them, with their wings batting 53 beats per second. They dip in to feed and then fly up to be sure I’m staying put, over and over and over again.

I guess I’ve earned their trust over the past month. They actually perch on the feeder now, just a few feet away from me. The best is when they play together, swirling and twirling mid-air as if dancing for me.

Sometimes twenty minutes can go by without me reading even a single word in my Bible. I get lost in wonder, overwhelmed by gratitude for the magic that unfolds before me every day. Then I’ll snap to, reprimand myself for being so distracted, and try to refocus on God and prayer again.

Yesterday, the distraction literally doubled and had me seeing things in a whole new light.

Believe it or not, there were four hummingbirds yesterday, all at once! The whir of all those wings grabbed my attention like never before, re-framing the distraction. I suddenly realized I wasn’t getting distracted from God, I was being distracted by God.

As they darted around my backyard, there was no denying they’re divinely created by Him. He knows I have no affinity to lizards or spiders. Although He did create them, they evoke repulsion and fear.

But hummingbirds? They’re majestic and stunning, an aerodynamic marvel that could never be created by human hands. They’re playful and delicate, inspiring and breathtaking. And when one comes and hovers two feet in front of me, looking me in the eye as if to say hello, I’m overwhelmed and humbled beyond words.

Every emotion a hummingbird inspires in me is the same emotion I have when I feel God’s presence deep in prayer. Recognizing the connection now, I realize that God is visiting me daily, through my hummingbirds.

I don’t have to feel guilty about not finding Him in prayer. I don’t have to strive by searching Him out in His Word. All I have to do is sit on my back deck, sip my coffee, and praise Him while watching the show.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What in nature distracts me beyond reason?
  • Could that be God showing up for me in a mesmerizing way?

8 thoughts on “Distracted by God

  1. A magnificent and truly enlightening reflection here, Claire, on God’s Gift to us in hummingbirds!! On our Sharon Road deck we had a hummingbird feeder, and my sister Jean made a special liquid for them that they loved, and oh how we loved them!! We also have them here, thanks to our lovely manager who so thoughtfully hung a feeder right near our front door, where we can sit, enjoy, and like you, lift our gratitude to our Loving, thoughtful God for creating them and bringing them into our presence and awareness! On another note, CONGRATULATIONS on sharing your lovely spirit with us in LIVING FAITH, on your feast day of St. Claire!!! Along with hummingbirds, you are a beautiful gift to so many including me …. with your uplifting reflections!


    • I’m so glad you have hummingbirds at your new home Jackie! They are spectacular. May you feel God’s presence every time they visit. And thank you for your kind words about my reflection in Living Faith. I feel so blessed and honored to be included in that devotional. It’s a dream come true for me!!


  2. Clare, thank you for your lovely meditation on hummingbirds! I was also frightened by spiders until one day when I watched a one spin a web. I marveled at the way this tiny creature enveloped its whole body into the making of its web. I returned the next morning to see its masterwork glistening with morning dew in the sunlight. Nothing human hands make can reach its perfection. How blessed we are to be a part of His magnificent creations!


    • Lynn Marie, you’ve “spun” such a beautiful description of spiders and their webs that I just may view them as a wonder from now on! Thank you for that, and for reading and commenting. It never fails that I gain so much from my reader’s perspective. Your comment is a perfect example of that! Blessings to you!


  3. Claire, what a truly beautiful reflection! You view His creations as I believe He intended for them to be seen! God bless you for that vision and sharing it with us! xoxo


    • Thanks so much Mom! You need to come visit my back deck between 9 am and 11 am to witness these hummingbirds in all their glory. You can just feel God with every flap of their wings.


  4. Love, love this reflection, Claire! You took me on a mini field trip to your back deck. Rob has been talking about a humming bird he keeps seeing in our back yard but I have yet to see it.
    So true that sometimes just praising God in the day to day seems to be what He desires most. Thanks for the reminder!


    • Thanks so much Jean! If you have a hummingbird coming around, you HAVE to get a feeder. It’s amazing how they’ll keep coming back, and bringing all of God’s glory with them.


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