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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Eagle: our lazy, timid, national bird

When I lived down the hill -- that is, down on the flatlands surrounding Longmont, Colorado, I used to drive to Lagerman Reservoir for a quick couple-times-around brisk walk. The place is beautiful. The reservoir is surrounded by low-lying farm land, and on breathless days the front range is perfectly mirrored in its blue depths.

One winter a family of bald eagles nested nearby. They'd sit out on the ice, looking like a collection of black tombstones. Tall. Surprisingly so in comparison to their smaller hawk cousins.
But timid. I'd try to get close enough for a good camera shot but they always leaped into the air and flapped over to the other end of the frozen water.

One day I ran into a park ranger at Lagerman and asked him about the eagles. He went into a long description of their wintering habits.
"They sure are majestic," I said. "I'll bet they keep the prairie dog population down around here.
"Humpf." The ranger shook his head. "They're real lazy birds. They wait around for the other predators to get some food and then they swoop down and steal it."
Timid and lazy, those eagles.

Funny how appearances can be so deceiving. With their piercing eyes, powerful claws and regal stance, it's no wonder our founding fathers thought the eagle made an appropriate representation of our nation's strength and courage.
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird.
Personally, I'd like to see an animal hybrid sitting on the flagpole above our nation's flag.
  1. How about a prairie dog, for its dedication to community. . .
  2. the wolverine for its tenacity and courage. . .
  3. the dove, for our Christian roots. .
  4. and, last, the dog, for its intelligence and loyalty.
That kind of animal-blend might not look so good on the wing or sitting on Lagerman reservoir, but it might make us stop and think about who we really are as a nation.
  1. Are we still devoted to one another?
  2. Are we still characterized by determination and bravery in the face of grave danger?
  3. Do we still honor the Lord Jesus Christ as our nation's God?
  4. Are we smart enough to see danger up ahead and avoid it, and do we still care about our fellow citizens enough to try to protect them: the elderly, the unborn, the helpless, the widow, the orphan?
Are we a people of quality and nobility?
Or, like the eagle, do we just look noble?


  1. Hi Dena -

    Thanks for visiting my blog and becoming a Follower.

    Interesting post, and love the picture of your grandbaby. I've become a Follower and look forward to getting to know you.

    Susan :)

  2. I love this blog. So many people love to State "This is the United States of America" yet no longer live according to what once made its name seem so noble.

  3. Thanks, Kiri. I think a lot of people want all the perks of being an American, yet none of the responsibility.