Was This a Good Thing?

Yesterday I saw a hawk. In my back yard. Sitting on the clothesline pole. Eating … some dead thing. It held its carrion down with obviously strong claws and picked at it with its hooked beak. Picked, and jerked it’s head up. Picked, jerked up. Picked. Jerked. I hoped the carrion was the last of a gopher that’s been tearing up the lawn, but it might have been one of the many sparrows nesting about.

Until today I didn’t know for sure the bird I saw was a hawk, having never seen one up close before. It was Big for a bird. Very Big. And kind of scruffy. I’d call it mottled with dirty white legs. I did a little Wikipedia research and found out it was a Red-tailed Hawk and the legs were yellow, not dirty white. 😉

I learned the Red-tailed Hawk is common in North America, even in urban areas. SoCal is very urban with a lot of green space, and I live near one of those so am not surprised to see critters from time to time. But do I want a Red-tailed Hawk in my back yard?

Not that I think he (or she) was looking for a place to nest. But I don’t know if I want said hawk to think this is a good hunting ground either. I mean, I like waking up to birds singing. When Mr. (or Mrs.) Hawk was devouring the last of its meal, the yard was eerily silent for that time of day.

But it would be nice to have a gopher or two meet their end. Interestingly, when I went to water Monday, one of the gopher holes was exposed, wide open like a snake hole, revealing a smooth, slanted passageway, very different from the usual dirt pile hiding a gopher burrow. But the day after Mr. (or Mrs.) Hawk’s visit? That hole was one rounded mound of soil, like all the others. Guess the gophers decided they’d vote no to having a hawk for a neighbor.

I don’t know, there’s just something so wild about watching an animal eat a creature it’s killed. Seems so uncivilized. Only a thin stucco wall separated me and my oh, so sophisticated technology from that predator.

I’ve been thinking what sort of analogy I could glean from this hawk sighting. I’ve decided that the most predatory thing in my life is Satan. Or he wants to be.

Psalm 27:1-2 says

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life, whom shall I dread?

Though evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
They stumbled and fell.

(Emphasis mine)

I’ve been thinking that “evildoers” aren’t trying to devour my flesh the way they were David’s. But Satan would “devour” my witness, my work, if he could.

He can’t though, because the Psalm goes on to say

For in the day of trouble, He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me.
He will lift me up on a rock.

And now my head will be lifted up above my adversaries around me.
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices of praise with shouts of joy.

In the end, I’ll have to conclude that having a hawk in my back yard was a good thing, not because it might reduce the gopher population but because it did remind me of God’s protection against the predator of my soul.

Published in: on June 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm  Comments (1)  
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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the meditation. It is good to know that God protects his people from the predatory work of Satan and the world. Yet, we must be diligent to guard our hearts and strive to work out our salvation, knowing God is at work within to will and do his good pleasure. A corollary of this is that though we know, as God’s children, we will persevere, yet we should always be mindful to pray that God will so make us persevere.

    On another note, the interaction of flora and fauna in your back yard sounds like it may be the perfect place to find inspiration for a children’s tale along the line of ‘Wind in the Willows.’

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