Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Into the Sky

A couple of months ago, I wrote a bit about a pair of hawks who had built a nest in the woods right behind our church.

We have had a front row seat to an amazing spectacle. I’m reminded that even lifelong outdoors people have not seen this kind of wonder. A friend reminded me that if the hawks had built even ten feet further into the woods, we would not have known they were there.

As the weeks went on, we continued to check out their activity. In time, even with the nest being more than fifty feet in the air, we began to see two downy heads peek over the edge. They seemed to eye us with the same interest as we had in viewing them. We tried to get shots with the equipment we had. Some of our pictures were fuzzy, but it didn’t matter. We were smitten.

                                                                                               photo B.Varnado


                                                           photo K. Walraven

 We watched them grow, and then in what was only about ten days, they went from looking like chicks to appearing as what they were, Red Tailed Hawks. Their feathers had come in and they perched on the edge of the nest surveying what would be their world. It seemed to me they were ready. Their mom and dad had done everything they could, but the hawks would have to believe those wings of theirs could carry them into the sky.

                                                                                             photo B. Varnado

We can sometimes be like those hawks. God has prepared us for what He has called us to do, but we hold back. We give various reasons for not spreading our wings—not good enough, not smart enough, not young enough, not old enough, not______ enough. Fill in the blank with your own reason of inadequacy. But if we’re honest, it’s that fear of falling that keeps us in the nest.

The Bible is replete with those who struggled in that way. Among them—Moses had a speech difficulty, Gideon felt not enough, the woman at the well had her past. But Moses led his people out of captivity, Gideon defeated a massive army with few men and resources, and the woman at the well overcame the stigma attached to her to tell others about Jesus.

Words that God spoke in encouragement to Gideon often echo in my spirit. “Go in the strength you have . . . “(Judges 6:14).

Never mind what you don’t have.

Focus on what you do have and go in that.

This past Sunday, we rushed to the back of the church to check on our hawks. The nest was empty. I admit that I felt sad to see them go. But somewhere beyond us, I imagined them sailing over the rolling pastures that surround our church, their feathers ruffling in the wind, their eyes roaming for their next meal, able to see a mouse at one hundred feet.

In the future, when we hear a hawk cry, we’ll always wonder if it is one of ours, but we’ll know they are living their best life, doing what they were created to do.

And we pray we will be doing the same.

Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2022 

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