The Message of the Eagles
by Sandra L. Brown, M.A.
Copyright © 2017 by Sandra L. Brown, MA
On the day that man’s justice would be bastardized, the day started as usual with spring on the edges of the morning, like fringe. The chickadees, cardinals, and gold finches were huddled around the feeder fighting for territory. The squirrels stood patrol for scattered lost food at the bottom. Fields glistened with residual dew and mallards puttered on the ponds. The clouds billowy and scripture-like, announcing another 24 hours dipped in grace.
Jack the Bernese Mountain dog and I strolled the meadows, him ahead with his fanny bouncing with delight as he trotted searching for early morning smells of critters who had violated his space by strolling through the meadows. Ahead of me in the still barren trees, stood fiercely observant birds, our movement not unnoticed to them. One step closer and they launched from their limbs into full flight, four, gliding over the four ponds—scattering other camouflaged birds in surrounding trees as they seemed to scoot to the sides to make way for royalty. Bald eagles, numbering four, cast out over the domain of the meadows. Even Jack stopped to watch, sensing an unusual visitor to our Eden. Both of us motionless and heads tilted heaven-ward, watched silently their dance of flight not sure if we should move or genuflect. They flew like grace, not flapping, being lifted higher and higher not by effort but by wind, for that ‘eagle like view’ of their hunt.
Time spent in awe is when the earthly time of ‘chronos’ is suspended, when we enter into eternal time that has no limits, it is only experiential. Chronos dropped away as the birds drove themselves higher and higher into the ethos, gliding on mystery. They circled back around and came back to the perch from which we first saw them, their gazes intensely locked on our presence.
Unsure of the protocol when you have viewed eagles in flight, more less four of them, I stood statuesque least I ever see this again in my lifetime. But alas, their presence, or message, was fulfilled and they launched flying west out of the meadow.
I too was launched from eternal time to chronos, like a rocket coming back in breaking the sound barrier—ripping through something unseen but real. I stood blinking and wondering if I had seen what I had just seen and asked Jack if he saw it too. We stared at each other awhile and as I inched back into chronos and readjusted myself out of awe, I turned to walk back to The Lodge, slowly, like on a Labyrinth hoping the essence of the experience would stay draped over me.
I pondered how God spoke not just in mystery but in nature—the unusual messengers of the Holy that enter our lives bringing forth a prophetic lesson that we often miss.
Not every day do you encounter the unlikely, in multiples, that are anything but ordinary. How should I read this? I thought of the Native Americans who would know the meaning, not the shallow coincidence, of four bald eagles visiting. I wondered how other cultures, much more in tune with how the Mystery speaks to us, would interpret today. Our culture dug shallow with a Walkman in our ear, and fitbit on our wrist, would likely have plowed past this vision on the 20 minute powerwalk.
As I was pondering how to find the spiritual meaning behind today’s encounter, I arrived home feeling the blessing and gratitude of an awe-inspired morning and pulled out my computer to find the meaning behind the morning. But before I could receive the meaning from the Holy, a message came about our court proceeding—the absolute impossible thing that was not even allowed in court—had been done. Man’s aborted form of justice or law, unfit for heavenly comparison, had become a continual act of ‘smoke and mirrors’—not the spiritual law of justice of defending the weak—but a law of distortion and avoidance. Three years of the impossible things that are not allowed in court, yet again, arrived as a mirage, stunning even our attorney.
I crumpled into the chair…chronos heavy around me, mystery vaporized with only man-made dread and despair as reality. My head was whirling remembering that just moments before I was transported by ethereal time, out of this chronos hell for a few moments—touching the other side of a heavenly language. Now man’s words, ripped through my soul, bringing what doesn’t exist in holy time, the despair and rage that was filling my body, working it’s heat up from the toes to my head.
I was drowning in adrenaline, lost in a maze of evil humanity that uses a justice system instituted by God, for a battering ram against others. Like spray painting a swastika on a consecrated Jewish temple, using what was created by the Holy for protection of the weak, is as blasphemous.
As the boiling that had reached my head ebbed its way down my body, I thought of the dichotomous morning of the awe and the awful, the pivoting point of life that takes us from heaven, rips us through the sound barrier to the purgatory of our real life, in seconds. The unfairness of having tasted the eternal to the bludgeoning of the profane, seemed like something from the temptations of Christ. It would have been better to have remained trapped in chronos, expecting yet another day of bastardized justice, than to have been transported in symbol and message to something that resembled hope, at least for a few moments.
But the morning did not start out in the reverse. I had not received the insane message of the incomprehensible, the never before attempted-ness of smoke and mirrors law. I had received first, the messenger of the eagle.
And so, I dug in.
Scriptures about eagles coincide with some of my comfort scriptures about nestling under the wing, about protection found in the shelter. They are maternal and paternal scriptures of protection, a place of text I revisit in grief when I miss my parents who are gone. But the whining David of the Psalms is who I most relate to as he grovels to climb under the wing of the great eagle for protection, who laments God has forgotten about injustice.
Since there were four eagles (two adults and two juvenile eagles) I looked up the number four. The number four in scripture represents creation during creation week when God completed the material universe and brought into existence the sun, the moon and all the stars (Genesis 1:14-19). Their creation was not merely for light but to divide the day from the night on earth, creating the demarcation of time. The bible references other fours: four seasons, four angels, four corners of the earth, four rivers in Eden, the four living creatures—all demarcations of something.
The eagles signify a demarcation of something…something that in the pain of this season, we will look back and mark it as when things changed…for the better or worse I do not know.
Scriptures about the eagle indicate, ironically, there are different varieties of eagles. The image of the eagle has been a favorite military ensign with the Persians, the Assyrians, the Romans, and the United States, nations that have never been afraid to fight. The Hebrew word for eagle means ‘to tear with its beak’ and translations often refers to both the eagle and the vulture in old texts, not always delineating which, since both eat the dead providing a service of clean up to humans.
Eagles are known for their strength, bearing incredible weight in what they can carry with their talons. (Vultures cannot carry.) They have sustained power of flight allowing them to glide and soar effortlessly for extended periods of time, and high speed of flight especially when attending to their distressed young. For these reasons, the eagle has symbolized strength both in scriptures and in other cultures.
…. A demarcation in time, a service of clean up, sustained power and flight, a symbol of strength.
Life pivoted again.
Copyright © 2017 by Sandra L. Brown, MA. | All rights reserved
Reprinted by permission from the author.
About the Author
Sandra Brown, M.A., is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and is a program development specialist, lecturer and community educator on pathological love relationships and domestic violence, and is an award-winning author. Among her titles is the groundbreaking, Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm with Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists.
For more information about Sandra and her work, please visit SafeRelationshipsMagazine.com.