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I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast, just like a thousand times before. I glanced out the window; I took a second look. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There, in our backyard, sitting in our birdbath was a hawk! What's a hawk doing this close to our house? In the weeks that followed, we surmised that this was a young hawk and that he had decided to make our back yard and the area around it his territory. We continued to enjoy his presence, and we praised God for allowing us this rare treat.

In the midst of our every-day-life, God surprises us! I had looked at our back yard so often that it had become commonplace. Like, nothing exciting ever happens around here; I was wrong. When we're least expecting it, God surprises us with something beautiful and wonderful. Just when we need it, God sends us a miracle.

Who would ever have expected to see a hawk to take up residence in our backyard? Awesome! No one expected to see Jesus alive after his crucifixion. Yet, there He was! Very much alive! Awesome! God has a way of surprising us: He turns our sorrow into joy; our despair into hope; our darkness into light; our death into life. Wow! Just when we think that nothing good can happen to us, it does! God changes everything.

Our hawk claimed our yard as his territory. He sits on our back fence or on the highest utility pole and screeches for all the world to hear, "This territory belongs to me."

Our hawk is like some ancient Columbus, claiming the New World for Spain. This hawk should be an example to all of God's chosen people.

Isn't this what God has called us to do? To say loudly and clearly to all the folks in our community, and in our world, "We claim this territory for God! And we plan to develop this neighborhood into a little bit of heaven on earth. Everything that happens in this community, this world, is our concern -- because everything in life is of concern to our God. And by our words and our example, we will show you the best way to live life to the fullest."

Like the hawk, God sets us free! What a wondrous sight, to see our hawk flying high above the earth -- freedom in motion. A wild hawk is not chained to the ground; he is free to fly above it. God has set us free from the constraints of sin; we are free to live above all earthly and worldly temptations. Jesus Christ gives His people the strength and courage to rise above fears and doubts, to rise above hatred and anger and bitterness, to rise above lust and greed and jealousy, to rise above those selfish feelings that destroy and to rise above death itself. Jesus' people are no longer chained to the past, nor to the present. We are not chained to the love of things; we are not held down by grief nor sorrow or disappointment. Jesus gives us the power to rise above all these earthly things; He gives us the freedom to fly!

Like the hawk, we are here for now! The hawk might decide to leave and claim another territory. Or, some predator might kill the hawk. So for here and now, we will continue to enjoy our hawk and praise God for the beauty and wonder of His creation. We are here for now. Let's praise God for every glorious moment. Let's celebrate every day our freedom to fly!

Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 09/26/2019

Print Headline: There's A Hawk In The Birdbath

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