Pastor’s Corner: What We Can See

I’ve finally seen an ‘apapane in the wild.

My apparent obsession with these native Hawaiian honeycreepers became clear when I received a toy i’iwi (which has similar coloring) for Christmas. It is, truthfully, mostly coincidence. I’ve used animals in my stories to stand in for human behavior for years.

As it happens, the habits of the ‘apapane have met my storytelling needs pretty well these past months. They’ll fly in and out of my tales for many years to come, but they’ll be joined, from time to time, by their companions in the Hawaiian skies.

But until recently, I hadn’t seen one.

I’d heard them – without recognizing the call, I confess – on walks through the forests many times. Despite their bright coloring, however, I could never pick them out of the ohi’a leaves. Just a couple weeks ago, I spotted a bird flying into the top of a tall tree which was standing in an open area some distance from the trail. It was too far to pick out details, even through my camera lens, so I snapped a couple of shots in the hope that my computer would help me identify it when I got home.

It did. It was, in fact, an ‘apapane.

In fact, there were two. There was the one I’d spotted when it flew to the tree, and a second one perched far more visibly on a branch above. At the time, I hadn’t known it was there.

Now I do.

Life is filled with moments like these, moments in which there is more before us than we realize. The fact that we do not know it makes it no less real. The fact that we are unaware of it makes it no less true. I wonder how many times I’ve searched and studied and still missed what was there. I’m grateful for the times I’ve been surprised to discover what I did not see.

Keep looking and searching, my friends. Reality has plenty to show us, even more than the ‘apapane.


Pastor Eric

The original, unedited photograph.


Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on February 1, 2017

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