“3,180 Times a Minute”

I was recently in the Colorado Mountains where I was attacked by an animal.


The mountains are no place for a soft, urban, city dweller. But I went anyway. There is always danger from the animals:

  1. The American Black Bear
  2. Mountain Lions
  3. A charging Bull Elk
  4. The North American Chipmunk (don’t laugh)
  5. The Rocky Mountain Snow Wolf

What Happened?

I didn’t see it coming. You must never let your guard down when out in the natural world. Before I knew it, I’d been attacked.

I reached to feel my leg and my hand came back covered in blood. By covered I mean there was a little on a couple of fingertips.

My friends heard me cry out, “ I’ve been attacked.” They saw the blood and the fear in my eyes, and instantly looked for the threat, but it was gone.

They administered first aid, they got a damp paper towel from the kitchen. I expected a gash, or something worse. No, just a tiny puncture mark. It didn’t hurt. I was brave.

My Friends

My friends said, “Rick, you’ve been victimized by a rogue hummingbird.” And I said, “You’ve got to be kidding?” And they said, “Nope, it’s rare, but it happens. You’re wearing a red shirt and they are attracted to red, and probably confused your white city leg for a feeder.” Uh huh.

Not the hummingbird that attacked me, but close, really very close.

I was attacked by a tiny bird flapping its wings at 3,180 times per minute.

I was okay, it could have been an angry wolverine, but it wasn’t. However, my leg had been pierced by the sharp, pointed beak of a confused, rogue bird. In the wild, you can’t drop your guard for a moment. 

To Close

Just to end with something worthwhile, I was reminded that Jesus was pierced too. He was pierced in his hands and feet, and his head and side.

From Isaiah 53:5

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”


Ghost Steps?

There are things that go bump in the night.

The Setting

I just returned from a trip to Colorado. It’s an annual sabbatical to write, study, and fly fish. It’s about silence, solitude, and hearing God’s voice. Friends arrange places for me to stay. Sometimes it’s with them and sometimes I stay in their cabins when they are gone.

I Love to Fly Fish!

Bumps In The Night

On one occasion, while alone, I heard a strange sound. It was footsteps. Twice I jumped up, certain there was someone behind me. There wasn’t. I never figured out the sound. The house wasn’t haunted, or have a mysterious guest. But after the first time, I was on high alert. I had ears to hear.

Jesus Said It

Mark 4:9, “Then Jesus said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’”

A few verses later:

Mark 4:23, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

It was important to Jesus to be heard. But not everyone was hearing.   

The Old Testament

What Jesus said about hearing came from the Psalms/Prophets.

  • Psalm 135:16-17“They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear…”
  • Isaiah 6:9-10, “He said, ‘Go and tell this people,’ “Be ever hearing, but never understanding
  • Isaiah 43:8, “Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.”

Isaiah had trouble getting people to hear God’s word, at times, so did Jesus. Some had  hard hearts, they didn’t want to hear.

When Jesus taught about hearing the word, he used the Psalms and Prophets to do so. In fact, everything he said came from the Old Testament. Which was useful since everyone he taught had a solid understanding of it. 

The Holy Scripture: It’s one message.

To Close

Bumps in the night and strange sounds get our attention. But when we figure out the wind is blowing branches across a window, or the ice maker is just dumping its ice, we ignore it, it’s no big deal.

Is that how it is with God’s word? It’s no big deal?

Just a thought.