An Eagle’s Point of View

“Why be an eagle that won’t spread its wings?”

(Gloria Gaither)

That lyric has been glued to my brain and itching itself into my thinking. Eagles are the creature most quoted in songs, and preachers/teachers vigilantly remind us that we are eagles. Raises questions.

John Eldredge writes and speaks on the need for boys to adventure and to have fathers who shepherd them in that adventuring. If a boy does not learn to adventure, as a man he may find risking difficult. If adventure is not shepherded, the maturing young man may risk foolishly.

I have just finished reading Unified by Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott. (2018 Tyndale) This account of two men serving South Carolina constituents in the Senate and House—Scott, a Black man and Gowdy, a White man, took me into a fairly unknown landscape. A unique kind of friendship. There were times, as I read and considered, when I found my breathing very shallow. They are both Baptists and born again believers and their worldview is informed more by following Jesus than their political positions. It is from what they have seen and learned in Washington, D.C. that underscored their conclusions:

“We will change the nation only by changing the condition of the human heart. And that can only happen through love. True friendship is born out of acceptance and unconditional love—a love that is consistent and intentional.” (page 28)

Gowdy says about the difficult days of the Benghazi hearings,

“Far greater than any piece of advice Tim could have offered was the sacred gift of presence and his friendship…. To provide a sanctuary or a safe harbor to a friend in need is the greatest gift you can give.” (p 78)

If I quoted every sentence and paragraph that gripped me, this would cease to a blog and a reprint of Unified.

“Let’s see if we can fix it. Let’s see if we can build a justice system that is fully respected and fully worthy of respect. Let’s see if we can move toward that simple dichotomy between people who are of good conscience and people who aren’t” (Trey Gowdy—p 139)

I consulted with a church over a two-year period. They wanted a solution to their decline. Someone I was reading at the time said about the chaos and division in our country that the Church was probably the only source of solution and healing. That phrase seemed to be the one critical element in the equation.

I don’t know if it came in a dream or a wide-awake awareness. I saw that church’s new building spread across two blocks in response to the “solutions and healings.” Whenever we are in that city, I “see” that image. I envisioned them hosting four churches. Each with its own pastor and worship time. A Korean or Chinese church, an African-American church, a “contemporary” church. With the regular individual weekly gatherings, all four would gather for celebration once a month. A monthly meal together and small groups combining folks from the 4 churches. This meta-church would give us a platform to get to know people and become friends with Jesus Followers and Seekers beyond our tribe and travel routes. We would hear life-experiences thereby come to understand actions and attitudes and emotions that bewilder us.

Carole and I agree that we miss hummingbirds and wish them well as they make their southern tour. Outside our window this morning were five male cardinals and three females. Two pair of blue jays, a mourning dove, red-headed woodpecker and an assortment of colors and sizes, plus several dozen sparrows.

Eagles never accept our invitation. Turkey vultures drop in occasionally. We are half-a-mile from the river where the eagles hang out. I’ve never been able to coax an eagle to join me on the parking next to the river. But all I need to gather a crowd of seagulls is a crust of old bread.

I am not an ornithologist or a serious bird watcher, but Miss Gloria captured my soul with the line, “Why be an eagle that won’t spread its wings.” What are eagles best known for? Spreading their wings and soaring majestically.

It is difficult to spread your wings if they are broken or confined.

©2018 D. Dean Benton

writer, wonderer, witness


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