The view from my kitchen window looked more like spring than January. Families of squirrels skipped playfully in the warm sunshine. We were enjoying days of rare temperatures the first week of a new year. These furry rodents were taking advantage of moments in the sun. They were everywhere, running through piles of fall’s left over leaves. You could almost hear their happiness.
Minutes later, I was on the phone and screamed in my caller’s ear. A red tailed hawk flew past the window with one of those playful unsuspecting squirrels dangling from its grip. He stopped to rest on a nearby tree branch with his fresh lunch catch. The victim’s tail wiggled slowly as I snapped a picture on my phone. (If you increase the size, you can see the tail laying to the right of the hawk.)
I know. I know— survival of the fittest. The happy squirrel didn’t have a chance. The red-tailed hawk, flying 120 miles an hour to catch lunch he has spotted from 100 feet is guaranteed success.
Is there a lesson here? Somewhat similar to being caught in the spider’s web, but different. (see . . . caught . . . ) I have pondered the difference. A moth, a butterfly, wasp–well, they get too close to a ‘do-not-enter area’ of the web, and life is over for the unsuspecting victim. But a happy squirrel is living within his own territory. This unprotected soft rodent is an easy target for the sharp eyes and talons of a hawk.
Wonder why a hawk doesn’t grab an armadillo?
The hawk has few predators. Neither does the armadillo. The only predator for this nine banded rodent is a man with a gun or a fast car. This is nightly road-kill on our country roads in Tennessee.
“Be well-balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all time; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (Amplified)
Often we are as innocent and free as squirrels, romping in the winds and warmth of the NOW. . . and then. . . quickly snatched, captured. I watch the hawk with the now placid, once playful victim—barely a wiggle. This predator doesn’t eat its prey quickly; it subdues it or squeezes it just to the point of suffocation –and then devours each piece slowly.
For a moment I witness the large predator with the small squirrel in its grip, and I see me struggling to be free. The Hawk that devours me, you—always comes with warning. After all, a roar is not silent. Too often, I am deaf to the loud signs. Till it’s too late. Potentially hazardous talons of busy-ness, self pity, apathy, judgment and other devious hooks squeeze life from me.
Can I, can you live free, in the NOW? Without fear of the Hawk, but yet protected as the armadillo. The armor of the particular species living around us can deflect a bullet. But I don’t want to be covered with hardness.
Me thinks it’s a difficult journey—to walk in fearless trust. The next verse after the warning to be on the look-out for the enemy instructs one to be firm in faith. Other words in verse 9 encourage us to be rooted, established, strong, immovable, determined. (Amplified)
WOW. I can live as a squirrel in an armadillo’s covering.
. . .fearless. . . in faith.