Tuesday, February 10, 2015

As I write this, there is a red-tailed hawk sitting on my roof. Now it's nothing unusual to see, hear, and experience hawks in southern Chesapeake. They're everywhere in these parts, and I am thrilled. In fact, it's just about the most appropriate high-school mascot there is around. I've always loved birds of prey- from the small American Kestrel to the Harpy Eagle- and every owl in between. But right now, as I am writing, there is a hawk right on top of our roof. 

I spotted him from the kitchen earlier this morning. My husband had already seen him in the neighbor's yard, but my first glimpse was when he (or she) was sitting on the rail of the firewood rack. I wanted to get a picture of him, but I didn't want to walk away from my view. I was so happy he was there- I just was enjoying the thought that he took up a little residence in our yard. 

But it is early in the morning and I also require coffee. So while refilling my cup and listening to the unmistakable call of a Red-tailed Hawk, I realized he was on the wing. 
(Click here if you want to hear the call. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/red-tailed_hawk/sounds Darting through the kitchen barefoot on Frankenfoot, I went back and forth from window to window to see him- hoping that he was getting his breakfast as well. 

No, he just flew to the top of my house. I can tell because he is still calling to his mate. How wonderful! I suddenly feel so protected, so special. The feeling that there is something over me that is strong and fast and majestic gives me a sense of comfort and position. This bird can see eight times better than we can. Guaranteed that whatever we are seeing currently, he has already seen it and evaluated it as a threat or not. Snake slithering up? No problem- he's got it. Field rat? His snack. On it. All the animals that could pose a threat are his for the taking. This bird is extremely territorial. It mates for life and will do whatever is necessary to protect its family, even sacrificing its own life to save the lives of those it protects. 

As people drive by, I wonder if people are noticing this great bird on my house. Some won't. They're busy navigating the curves or just getting to their destination. They're just too busy to take the time to look. Some will notice, but they won't recognize it as a hawk. They'll mistake it for a vulture or a large crow. But I hope some others who go by will take a look and see what I feel: there is something special happening over here.

Of course, you know me by now. You know I am seeing the Big Picture here. You know I am praising my God Who is over my home and my life even now. You know that He offers me protection, comfort, security, and life forever. You know that my hope is that someone will take one look at my life and know that there is Someone over me that makes me...different. 

But unlike the scene with the bird on my roof, it isn't up to the other person to recognize it. It's up to me to show it. 

So I pray today that whatever I say, whatever I do, whatever I am, will only draw attention to the One true God and that others will always see Him over me. 

Fly on, majestic hawk, and glorify the One Who made you. 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

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