On Eagles’ Wings

eagle

I, like many people, am fascinated with eagles. Especially bald eagles. They are majestic and beautiful in flight. I have been blessed to see them a number of times in the wild. A friend once lead my wife and me by canoe to a nest on the Manistee River. We got to see a pair in their mating ritual flight, circling gracefully about each other high in a clear blue sky. Getting closer and closer, they reached out and touched their talons together even clasping each other’s feet briefly as they fell through the air.

Recently, I read an article that amazed me even more. Mother eagles have a unique way of teaching their young to fly. Mom flaps her wings until a young eaglet falls out of the nest. She watches then swoops down and catches it on the back of her wings and carries it up to the nest. The process is repeated until the youngster gets the idea and soars on its own.

In the Bible God reminds the Israelites through Mosses that this is the way He has lovingly watched and carried them, “on eagles’ wings” (Exodus 19:4) during their journey through the desert. It was an analogy they would have understood, likely having seen that behavior from eagles they had observed on their travels through the wilderness.

It’s a beautiful example that can still inspire us today.

“Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over young, so He spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on His wings.”

Deuteronomy 32:11

The Artistry of Birds

Nature Feeder Bird Bird Feeder Golden Finch

I enjoy watching birds come to the feeder outside our picture window. They seem to enjoy their free meal. In a single morning I can see brown sparrows, gold finches,  black and white chickadees, gray titmice, and nuthatches that can hang upside down from the post. Sometimes there are colorful blue jays and bright red cardinals that stand out like lightbulbs against dark trees in winter.

All this color and variety suggests intelligent design to me–an artist who loves color and variety and enjoys sharing it with us. After all, from evolution, wouldn’t a motley brown sparrow be the most practical way to go? It is a successful survivor, cammoflaged to hide in almost any background. But color and variety are beautiful and interesting.

Of all the blackbirds from crows to ravens, why put a bright red shoulder patch on a redwing blackbird–a whimsical bit of variety that just looks good? Some scientist may suggest an evolutional point. But take it all together and it just looks beautiful and gives us humans joy and a lift to our days like a painting from a great artist.

The Bible tells us that everything that God created is of value, all people, all living things, even the lowly sparrow. You are especially valuable to God the Creator-artist.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God… Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:6-7