He never knew what hit him. In seconds his life was snuffed out. Gone; his spirit drained away with his blood.
There had been no warning. No sign of danger.
That means I performed well. A successful hunter practices stealth and speed. It comes naturally to me, for I was born to kill.
The thrill of the hunt is irresistible. The adrenaline courses through my veins just before I attack, and again in that moment when I trade another’s life for the rush; the excitement that can’t be attained through any other endeavour.
My partner waits at home with the little one, unaware that I’ve struck again. That another life has been taken. I may bring a piece of my prize back to show him – maybe the head. It’s nice to have proof of my skill; bragging rights can only come with evidence.
I rip into flesh with my hooked beak and savor the salty treat. I think salmon might be one of my favorites.
Yes, my beak. You didn’t think I was a human did you? It’s humans who murdered enough of my kind, in addition to destroying our habitats, to put us on the endangered list a few years back. I’m happy to report that’s no longer the case.
I spread my wings as I catch an updraft. With a two-metre span, a couple flaps gains me enough momentum to transport the remains of my catch to the top of a nearby tree. More than one hungry eye witnessed my success. I clutch the large slippery fish tightly, although my spicules impaled it sufficiently for flight.
As I land on the spindly branch, a feather from my wing catches on a dry twig. I watch it drift to the ground below. Some child will likely think it quite a treasure. If he waits a day or two, he’ll actually find two, since my body will need to shed a feather from my other wing so I can maintain balance in flight.
I lift off from the tree and sail upwards, showcasing my aeronautical superiority. I don’t stop my ascent until I’m 10,000 feet above the earth. I like to survey my kingdom from up here. The speed I can muster as I dive from this height catches my prey off guard; completely unaware of my lethal presence.
Majestic is how people describe me when they watch me fly this way. I’ve been in flight training for almost 26 years and likely have a couple more left before my spirit leaves this world. I’ve also earned that name as one who sits at the top of the food chain; who instills fear and respect, both in the air and on the ground.
I am known throughout the world and acclaimed for many incomparable features. To the ancient Romans, my image stood for power and strength; to the Persians, my kind symbolized wisdom; to Amerindians, my ability to soar to great heights made me a messenger of the gods. Do you know I am mentioned in the oldest Book on Earth 42 times? My strength and grandeur have been recorded and lauded by my Creator in God’s Holy Word.
I like that it acknowledges my super eye in Job 39:29. It says “From there [the cliffs] it hunts its prey, keeping watch with piercing eyes.” Do you know why my gaze is piercing? My eyes have two centres of focus, enabling me to see forward and to the side at the same time. Therefore, my eyesight is far superior to humans – I can see four to seven times farther than you. It’s one of the main reasons I am an outstanding hunter. If only you could see a sunset or sunrise through my eyes! I have superior colour vision: while you see just three basic colours, I see five.
In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet has a vision of incredible celestial beings, known as cherubim, with wings and four faces. One of those faces was mine. I earned that spot as the king of all birds. I think the Creator put forth His best when He created my kind, although humans get the credit as His greatest masterpiece.
I do not boast of my splendidness on Val’s Stage for my own glory. I’m here to remind you that my Creator, and yours, has offered you strength comparable to mine. His offer can be found in Isaiah 40:31:
All He asks you to do to receive this strength is to WAIT on Him. That means spending time alone with God; talking to Him; being quiet; allowing Him to enhance your humanness with His spiritual strength and power akin to my physical prowess.
Daughter of God, you can face life’s challenges with your own strength, or you can accept His offer of superior might. All you have to do is ASK.