Early morning in these parts is a great time for a walk. With summer’s arrival, it’s about the only time we can walk without feeling we’re in a sauna. This morning turned into quite an adventure.
As we rounded the bend at the pond, we were in the shadows of a very large hawk as he flew over. Bill immediately said, “Let’s go back and get my camera.” Now I’ll admit, my first thought was that the hawk would be in Chicago by the time we got back with the camera, but off we went to the house.
As an aside, Bill has this new camera—one that will capture the freckles on a flea. In the hands of an artist who sees things differently than the rest of us, that camera has already captured some beautiful moments that will never come again exactly as they were. This morning was such a morning.
We hopped in the golf cart and returned to the pond. No hawk in sight—only turtles, tiny minnows popping the water’s surface, and a monster water moccasin sunning on top of the mossy growth in the pond. Bill watched for the hawk, and you can imagine what I was watching for. We waited patiently in the shade. Suddenly, click-click-click interrupted the silence just as the shadow passed by again. It was all over before I ever saw the hawk. Bill pointed him out on a limb hanging over the water.
Never again will I question Bill’s desire to get the camera. Not only did he get the shot with the hawk flying off with his breakfast, a small snake in his beak, he got the biggest surprise in another shot. Right on the wings of this spectacular hawk was a hummingbird. One split second, just the right spot, brilliant morning light, and a camera in the hands of a patient man.
When I saw the surprising hummingbird in the photo, the first thing that came to my mind were the words of one of my favorite old hymns – “Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings; It is the Lord who rises with healing in his wings . . . Yet God the same abiding, his praise shall tune my voice. For while in him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.”
This experience—this photo of a stunning moment when we were only hoping to capture the hawk—reminded me that when we focus, I mean really focus on things of eternal value, we will be amazed at the God-given surprises that come our way. They enter our peripheral vision and our lives in ways that we never could have imagined.
So much to ponder in this experience—the hawk’s ability to see a small snake forty or fifty yards away. And what was the hummingbird up to, flying high with a hawk? I’ll never let Bill leave home without that camera again. I’ll be walking next to him singing and looking for the Light that surprises.