“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, the Lord spread his wings and caught his people; he carried them on his pinions.” Deuteronomy 32:11
“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
On a lovely, balmy January day my husband and I drove to Wabasha MN to watch bald eagles. These majestic birds, soaring gracefully over the Mississippi River Valley, began life in one of those treetop nests, helpless, hovered over, warmed and fed by an attentive parent. I watched the MN DNR eagle web cam to see up close such amazing innate care of young. Since, I frequently find myself silently humming “Thy holy wings, dear Savior, spread gently over me … and while we sweetly slumber enfold us one and all.” (written by Swedish poet Carolina Sandell, translated into English by Gracia Grindal).
But life isn’t a lullaby. As we know not all eaglets survive even with such attention. Humans too face dangerous elements and predators. The forces of nature can take away the security of shelter, a full cupboard, and safe drinking water. Some children never know a secure nest. Some know nothing but a refugee camp; nothing of a good school, books; not a doll or a soccer ball. Human wings, however loving, cannot protect against shelling, oppression and poverty.
Our very Savior was born as one of us, a helpless and dependent baby, depending on loving parents for warmth, sustenance, and teaching. After leaving his nest, he traveled the countryside surrounded by good friends and greeted by large crowds. Yet he grew increasingly vulnerable as jealous leaders preyed upon him, all part of God’s plan to bring reconciliation and peace to humankind. Whether you call God Father or Mother, God is our loving, nurturing, selfless parent, our refuge in troubled times, sheltering us with mercy and grace.
Prince of Peace, May I rise each day with joy, trusting you are beside me through it all. And may I lie down in peace, forgiven and loved, a child of God. Amen