Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Monday, February 1 2021
The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Did Debbie Blue write this from within the work-from-home era of pandemic life? No. But her office is at home none the less and she notices so much, including the once-rare eagles that continue to give her power and hope in the face of what is difficult about life “small and human and vulnerable.”
These words from Debbie Blue, in her book Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to the Birds of the Bible, remind us of the intangible, ineffable connection between what is wild and the provocative breath-taking Holy Spirit who meets us in wild places.
“We live near the river. My office is on the second floor. The window looks out over the hayfields and woods that surround the Rum River. There is a pair of bald eagles who have built a nest nearby. They stayed around the entire winter. This is unusual. Normally they leave when the river freezes over, but it’s been a very warm winter. I like having them here, though I’m sure it’s a sign of climate change. They seem to have moved in permanently. However commonplace it’s become, I still feel a little excited almost every time I see them… Eagles evoke some uncontrollable visceral response, in my experience, at almost any distance, but if you round the bend in the river and surprise one catching a fish fifteen feet in front of you, you will almost certainly feel something: blessed, or scared, or breathless. The bird emanates something that seems supernatural—practically mythic like roc, or ziz, or the phoenix. They are giant birds with power…. Maybe the eagle is so appealing because the truth is—even as full-grown adults—we aren’t really all that big (considering the scope of the universe and time). There is no superman. We are often weak and fearful and brokenhearted…it is difficult to be small and human and vulnerable…. The Incarnation is a story about a God who comes into the world as a naked, weak, little baby.”
O God who meets us incarnationally, give us attentiveness to your presence today. May you evoke in us that uncontrollable visceral response, an eternal “yes” to your spirit within the ordinariness of our everyday. Amen.