Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Crises, Hummingbirds, and Margaritas

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It’s been a tough week. Someone shot down a commercial airliner over Ukrainian airspace, the Israelis and Hamas are re-engaged in brutal combat, and hundreds of helpless migrant children have become pawns in an ongoing political battle about America’s southern border. There are two or more sides to all of the conflicts underlying these events, and it seems there is very little room for God’s love, or even human decency, as each side demonizes the other.

Closer to home, we have a friend who has had a pretty crisis-laden week or two as well. The drought has completely dried up her well, one of her dogs was attacked by a black bear cub, and a cat came home with internal injuries that led to a vet bill of over $650. Fortunately the animals are recovering and she has joined a number of other New Mexicans in having water delivered to her home, but when she mentioned the need to relax with “a pitcher of margaritas,” we asked if she might like some company.

As a result, yesterday became a day of rest from crises. In the morning, Henry and I drove to photograph a Hummingbird Festival near Lake Roberts. DSC_3396 cropResearchers were catching, banding, weighing, and measuring the various hummingbirds that were flocking to the bird feeders at the Little Toad Creek Inn & Tavern. I got some great images for the Grant County Beat, and some for myself as well. DSC_3368 cropThen in the afternoon our friend joined us for a trek across the border into Palomas, Mexico, to visit the Pink Store for a meal and a margarita or two, as well as a lot of story-sharing and laughter.

It was a good break. And last evening we returned to doing our share to show this crisis-ridden world a bit of Love. Henry composed an email to local faith groups, advertising the need expressed by the New Mexico Coalition for Faith and Immigration for travel-sized toiletries for the migrant children at our border. I am holding all these crises in prayer and listening for what else God might be inviting me to do.

When crises descend upon our lives, we can lose track of the need for rest and relaxation. We can become so caught up in the turmoil that we forget to step back (literally or metaphorically) and take time to connect with friends, and with God, before returning to face what is going on in the world around us. Obviously, the timing of those breaks is essential—our friend needed to get her animals’ needs taken care of before taking time away—but they are important for our health and well-being, and for our relationship with God.

And so I invite you to remember, probably “yet again,” that even God took a day off—the Sabbath. Is it time for you to take one, too?

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