Birds of Pray!


In 1976 I found myself stationed at RAF Bentwaters Air Force Base in the U.K. On this particular day I was working at the end of the runway where we were checking our fighter jets for one last time before takeoff.
The base was close to the English Channel so seagulls were an ever present reality, as was the threat they posed to aircraft. That morning an old Land Rover pulled up and out stepped a very English looking gentleman with a driving hat and Wellington boots who proceeded to unload two small cages
from the back containing two falcons. This was my first time up close and personal with these beautiful birds of prey, and it stays with me still today. As soon as he unleashed one of these alpha predators into the sky, the other birds just disappeared, and the sky became safe for takeoffs and landings. He and I became friendly and I would visit him and help feed his falcons from time to time, and to this day I’m enamored with these wonderful animals. Ever since then I have had a love for birds of prey, eagles, hawks,
falcons, owls and osprey. The unique ability of each different species to use its powerful wings, legs and claws, at great speeds to strike prey at staggering distances with keen eyes and ears is poetry in motion to me.

 It seems that ever since I came back to my Father a few years ago, I’m seeing these animals with increasing frequency. I’m sure that they were always there, I think I failed to notice them because I was blinded by the
world around me, unable to relax enough to really see. What I see in these birds is not worry, not distress, not depression or regret, instead I see the beauty of knowing that God is providing for them, whether it’s sunny and warm or cold and wet, night or day, they seem content that they have all they need. They don’t care who won the election or the Super Bowl, what’s on TV, how they stack up with the neighbors or what new game or device they haven’t got.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa

Lately I’ve been seeing hawks a lot so every time I see one I’ll tell my friends and family that “God sent me a hawk today”. It seems that any time I have something on my heart, whether it be worldly, personal or
spiritual, here comes a glimpse of a beautiful hawk. And yes, I do feel as though God is showing something when it happens. It’s not that there are more of them or that I’m becoming more in tune or anything that far out. I’m seeing them more now because instead of having a head and a heart filled with fear, anger, doubt and conflict, I have peace. And when my heart and head is at peace the beauty that God created for us becomes vibrant and alive.

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither
storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you
than the birds!”
Luke 12:24 ESV

Seeing the beauty of Gods creation is only going to happen when I let go of all the meaningless clutter that we call getting by and letting Him provide and see me through it. Whether it be a hawk, wild turkey, a big
buck, a beautiful sky, a sunrise or sunset, a child playing or a family laughing together, it’s always been there, I have been wearing the blinders of this world and have missed it. And it also helps me see that if I can become more at peace, more attuned to the knowledge that God has, does and will provide, that frees up all the space inside that I’ve been storing worry and stress, desire and anger, all these time thieves, and allow me to fill that space up with the glory of God. So as I go through my day, every time I see a hawk, I pray thanks to God, to me they are birds of pray, not prey. I’m thankful that I get to share the peace that both me and the bird share in the knowledge that the Father is in control, is providing and indeed wants us all to relax, take off those blinders and be open to the world He created for us. Try it, you might just see a hawk!

ps: As I was finishing that last sentence, I looked outside and saw a hawk fly up into a tree, thank you Father, thank you!



2 thoughts on “Birds of Pray!

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  1. Thank you, Scott, for sharing this reflection; in Michigan we get lots of hawks and falcons frequent the city skyscape to control the pigeons. I even watched a golden eagle catch a rabbit while boarding a city bus out by the Ag school of Michigan State University one morning… just a mile from heavy city traffic! In my novels, the birds play an important role as servants of God, bearers of news, omens of things to come. God is so marvelous in diversity of how He shares His world.

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