About the word Shekinah

The word Shekinah (shuh-kigh-nuh) means dwelling. It refers to the visible manifestation of the presence (or Shekinah Glory) of God. A luminous cloud. It is the very presence of God on earth. (see Holy Bible-Exodus 24:9-18)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yearning to be Free-The Inevitable Empty Nest

A friend of mine told me about some hummingbirds that had nested on her porch. When they first hatched, (the usual 2 eggs that were laid) I was in the middle of shooting stills for an independent film (a 2 week committment-photos from that to come) and couldn't get there until they were just about ready to leave the nest.

Whenever I'm photographing nature, I ask God to show me His glory and I have seldom been disappointed. Today, God once again showed me His glory through His creation; from the amazingly small quarter-sized (or silver dollar sized at most) nest that was an architectural masterpiece, to the way the mother watched over and fed her chicks, to the amazing way the chicks stretched and tested their wings for the very first time.

The mother bird was on about a 20-30 minute feeding schedule and in-between feedings the chicks would nap or squirm around in the nest. They would preen their wings and tug at the nest in an effort to fit more comfortably in it. The larger chick (which hatched first) stretched and fluttered its wings for the first time while I was there. Soon, the chicks won't need their mother's care anymore. They will be out on their own and her nest will once again be empty.

As the mother of one child that has graduated from high school and another with only three years to go, I can't help but think about how similar my situation is to this mother bird. My mostly grown children are also tugging at the nest and testing their wings and getting ready to fly. My role to watch over without hovering and take care without smothering is growing increasingly harder, as my own children try to free themselves from our "nest" called home and as they crave their independence. My need to "feed" them and their desire to "feed themselves" is certainly a strain and a struggle. I hope I am watchful and caring, but giving my "chicks" room to stretch and grow as God indends. As a mother, I take great comfort in the fact that this is all a normal, natural process. God says in His Word that He feeds and cares for the birds of the air and I know He will also take care of my children when they leave home and I have no need to worry. I'm so glad that my children will still come home at times and will still call or text me for advice when they leave my "nest", unlike the hummingbird chicks. God, in His wisdom, knows how vital that parent/child connection is and I am grateful.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." Matthew 6:26-27

If you want to read what I wrote about each photo, just hover your curser over the slideshow and click on link to go to the gallery.

If you want to know more about the independent film I shot stills for, CLICK HERE!


Nancy Remling said...

amazing stuff and such great insight. :)

Kelly said...

Wow!! These images are exquisite. Seeing baby hummingbirds tucked together in their tiny nest must have set your heart racing! I would have been holding my breath in anticipation as I clicked each shot. Lovely comparison of the empty nest...my son is entering 9th grade, and I too am thinking about this scenario! :-)
.....loved the Burrowing Owls and other raptors in your raptor slide show.

Shekinah Photography said...

Thank you both for your nice comments. Kelly, yes, my heart was pounding like crazy. My challenge was not to shake with excitement while taking the hand-held macro shots. The really hard part was tearing myself away to go home, knowing they'd be off flying soon and I'd miss it.

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