I’m often asked, When did your hummingbirds leave? I love to answer, They never do.

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I live in South Texas. We have a season in the Fall when Ruby Throat Hummingbirds pass through on their way to the coast. There, they fly across the Gulf to Mexico. For casual observers this is when they see hummingbirds. The Ruby-throats leave and for most people that is the end of seeing the birds. They talk about when they came and when they left. However, for my eyes, it is never the end.

We have about 12 species of hummingbirds which pass through this area each year. They come in at different seasons. In late Fall and winter i’ve seen Rufous, Anna, Broadtail, and Buffed Belly hummers. Below is an immature male Rufous. To see them, you have to keep a feeder supplied. They are not in great numbers. Yet for those who look for them, the reward is to see beautiful colors. They are prettier than Rubbies and Black Chins of the Summer. I have even photographed hummers drinking from iced nectar in the Winter.

So, you can understand why I say they never leave. You have to have an eye to see them. It also helps to have an ear to hear them, as I’ve learned to discern their chirps and can tell if they’re in the area.

Isn’t this the same for how we experience God? Some think God is only here in seasons of their lives or if there is some obvious experience where they can feel him. They ask God, Where did you go? Some have eyes, but just are not looking for God. They have ears, but they are not listening. If you don’t look and listen, then you miss what God is doing, even like many who don’t see Hummingbirds flying right past them in Winter. If you ask God, Where did you go? He’d say, I never left. I’m never gone.

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