It’s All About the Light

A cute Anna's Hummingbird sticks out its tongue.

A cute Anna’s Hummingbird sticks out its tongue.



I love hummingbirds—these small, speedy, colorful and difficult to photograph birds measure from 2.75 inches to 5.5 inches in length. These measuring-spoon sized avian acrobats act like California Condors when defending their territory from foreign invasion (i.e., other birds approaching ‘its’ feeder).

I feel tired just watching a hummingbird—their hearts can beat up to 1260 times per minutes (a cardiologist’s nightmare). They excel in foreign acquisitions (they build expandable nests out of insect and spider silk) they can consume up to 1.7 times their weight in nectar each day (and at night, they lower their metabolism and body temperature so they don’t have to eat).

What I love the most about these feisty birds has more to do with light than with the birds themselves. A hummingbird perched on a branch reminds me of a little old tired person. They glance every which way, and their posture seems hunched and protective. But, ah. The light. When the light shines at just the right angle, the male hummingbirds transform instantly into iridescent marvels. What appeared cute, but plain a split second before turns into something of indescribable beauty.

And so we humans transform when we encounter the Light.

Without the Light, we remain mundane, ordinary and curmudgeonly—defending our territory, our rights and ourselves. When we bask in his Light, we allow ourselves to reflect his glory and others have an opportunity to see the blindingly beautiful person God intended us to be. (tweet this)

What an iridescent glow when he's fully turned toward the light source!

What an iridescent glow when he’s fully turned toward the light source!

“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your ryes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well lighted as your best-lighted room.” (Luke 11:33-36—The Message)

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • I love hummingbirds. This was a beautiful post. My pastor just spoke to the verses from Luke yesterday in his sermon. So glad I stopped by today. Blessings to you.
    Beth S. recently posted…Friday Randomness (Vol. 21)My Profile

    • They are some of the most amazing creatures God created, aren’t they? They make me smile and I can’t wait for them to return to my neck of the woods :). Thank you for stopping by!

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  • Thanks for sharing. I love those verses and I appreciate the encouragement to keep shining.
    Jenn recently posted…Chores For Young ChildrenMy Profile

  • I love the analogy about basking in His light to reflect His glory! Great pictures too!
    Jennifer recently posted…What I’m Into (October 2014 Edition)My Profile

    • Thanks, Jennifer :). It’s when I step out of the light that I feel dull.

  • So beautiful! Women in my family for generations have loved watching the hummingbirds… but I’ve never noticed this until now. Thank you.
    Sarah recently posted…31 days of delicious fall… CHECK.My Profile

    • That’s cool that it’s a generational fascination. They are such amazing creatures (now, if I only had money to visit Peru and see some more 😉 ).

  • This is a great reflection. Humming birds are amazing creatures and when the light shines they can light up. Humans are similar. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Amanda recently posted…What am I looking for?My Profile

    • Thanks, Amanda! I love the little guys and was blessed to have up to 40 gathered around my feeders at a time during August. It was quite the treat!