Two weeks ago, on one of those rare Saturdays everyone in our household could have slept in, we were awakened by raucous crows. I had a grim thought about why a group of crows is called a murder, and trudged outside to spot the perpetrators. I finally spotted them in a tall palm tree four or five houses away. As I glared at the tree, as though that would silence the crows, the branches of the tree six inches from my face moved. I thought it was just the morning breeze, but then a hummingbird erupted from the branches and flew right at me.

The bird stopped a foot from my face and I stepped back in awe. It flew in circles around my head and then hovered behind me. I had to turn away from the crows to face the hummingbird; it danced before me for another moment, then soared away.

I laughed in delight, thanking the Holy Spirit for taking the form of a hummingbird and turning me away from dark thoughts to joy and gratitude. I imagined the great hall of the first Pentecost filled with hummingbirds rather than tongues of flame, with the small but fierce creatures flying with wings of fire, opening the hearts of more than three thousand and leading them to salvation.

I also wondered how often the Holy Spirit dances around me, while I remain too focused on the crows in my life to see Him or respond to Him. How often do I miss small moments that could change my direction? How often does the Spirit offer me wings of fire, and how often do I turn away?

Today, as we celebrate the birthday of the Christian church, let us rejoice in the Holy Spirit who hovers beside us, anxious to lift us and lead us. Let us turn to Him and answer his invitation. Let us put on our wings of fire and soar, drawing closer to the Lord and inspiring others to do the same.

“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

1 Corinthians 2:10-12