Repost: Soaring Eagle


National Wildlife Federation Christmas card: Sacred Heights by Daniel Smith


I was thinking about soaring eagles and prairie chickens the other day and recalled this card we received last Christmas. I dug it out of my pile of papers and was struck by how relevant it suddenly seemed to me. The fact that the eagle is ALONE is a big one. As is the fact that when he is soaring, he’s not really doing anything, just resting on the wind currents. His perspective is high and far. And even though there are storm clouds all around, there is light bursting through them. Beautiful picture of our life with God.

He soars above it all, and below him, far, far out of sight are the prairie chickens — flocking and squawking and chattering. Fluttering, clucking, scratching in the dirt, huddling together, going after bugs and seeds. They find safety in numbers (you only have to fly faster than one other prairie chicken to escape the predator!). Where one goes they all go, often without thought. It’s a horizontal existence and a horizontal perspective.

But the eagle lives in the heights. He lives with the higher, bigger, broader perspective. And he is at peace. Ironically, the title of the card is “Peace on earth” and after reading that, it hit me that the only way one can have true peace while on earth is to be a soaring eagle.

Is 40:31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.

Originally posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006


4 thoughts on “Repost: Soaring Eagle

  1. Luke Breuer

    Hmm, I respect the rejection of mob-mentality, in favor of something like the 7+1 one who conquers in Revelation. But how do you understand this “ALONE”, given stuff like Eph 4:1–6? See also:

    Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Col 2:18–19)

    Perhaps I’m worrying about nothing; so much of our world is basically mob mentality through and through, with herds of independent thinkers flocking from fad to fad. Rising above that is required for being a disciple of Christ. Perhaps you have another blog post on “whole body” type interdependence, to balance out that “ALONE”?

    1. Karen Hancock Post author

      Hi Luke! Thanks for reading and for the comment. I am not at all discounting the importance and interdependence of the Body of Christ, but none of that matters if we are not first and foremost focused on God Himself — who He is, what He’s done for us, and who we are in Him, which I think the eagle metaphor demonstrates rather well. Also, as I mentioned in the post, this particular piece originally followed one I had done using the contrasting metaphor of prairie chickens where they are never alone, and everything is measured among themselves and by themselves, and much of what they do depends on their own strength and efforts, i.e., they must run about after bugs and such, peck at the ground, flap furiously to fly, etc. In any case, all metaphors/analogies break down somewhere and for the most part can be used only to illustrate a part of the whole… Which is what I was doing here.

      1. Luke Breuer

        Makes sense! This reminds me of the Tower of Babel: people preferring to stick together and stay where it is safe, rather than go out and explore the wondrous reality God has made. Add to this a rootedness in God that is stronger than any other rootedness, and you get a particular kind of “ALONE”: one in which any and all humans can tell you you are wrong, without you immediately believing them. After all, the prophets in the OT sometimes had to be “ALONE”, lest they disbelieve the very words God was telling them!

        I am perhaps a little oversensitive to this “ALONE” business, given that I have been that for much of my life. God said it best: “It is not good for man to be alone.” Fortunately, I do have a wise, beautiful wife who introduced me to your Legends of the Guardian King. She and I half-enjoy and half-are-saddened by all the ‘Christian’ fiction out there which portrays Christianity as basically the book of Proverbs .

  2. KC Frantzen


    This is terrific and timely AGAIN. And again and again.
    Thank you!!!

    Your perspective is *ironically* grounding… Scratch that – soaring! 😀

    Have a wonderful April!


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