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June 27, 2005
I was ready for there never to be another hummingbird on the Farm. I was content to have welcomed just one at last, had even developed a theological posture of hopefulness that involved accepting never getting one -- my hummingbird would be sort of like the Jewish Messiah, always expected but never actually here: I could live with that.

When my hummingbird came, I was like the disciples just after the resurrection, hardly daring to believe the evidence of my own eyes. I stood still in the yard for a long time, looking at the place where I had seen her.

I would not be greedy. My sighting was a great enough blessing. I was ready never to see another hummer. It was really okay.

And then Rosie saw another one at a feeder near the trumpet vine. Can it be? Has my life really changed in an instant, become a life that contains the longed-for little jewels after years of enduring their absence? The terrible sucking power of despair is monstrous. It is so strong that we can look our deliverance square in the face and not believe in it, so strong that we can continue to expect defeat long after the victory is won.

Yes, the thing you long for can be yours. You won't be catapaulted into heaven when it comes though -- you'll still be down here in the mud. Our miracles are signs of heaven's hope, but they are not heaven itself. They all fly away. But they were really here. We saw them. And so the hope lives on.
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