Deadly. That's the word to describe him. Deadly.
He treads the water, searching for unsuspecting fish to dine on. His eyes search the marshes and bays, hoping for the right meal at the right time. Once his eyes have locked onto his potential food-stuff, he stares. With all the patience in the world, he stares his prey down, as still as the marsh grass background he hunts against.
Then, when it seems an eternity has passed, he senses the moment: that ripe period of time when he can strike. Raising his dagger-thin bill, he then rapidly plunges his head into the water, generally emerging triumphant in his hunt for his next meal.
This dramatic little monologue is a good description of my friend, the Tri-colored Heron. This multi-colored marsh beauty is a stunning example of the variety of life the bird world presents us; his long, thin neck and bill truly set him apart in the realm of heronry. (I just made that word up.)
Not only is he distinctive, he's also germane for the fast approaching 4th of July holiday. Why? Because he's red, white and blue.
That's right, with a reddish cast to the neck (especially as a juvenile), a stark white belly, and greenish-blue back, the Tri-colored Heron is a truly patriotic bird.
America was once the Tri-colored Heron, at least that's what they tell me. Just as that feathered fisherman is the thinnest of the Heron family, so our great country was lean, trim and fit. We once had the power to free ourselves, the urge to free others, and the discipline to maintain freedom.
We were also noteworthy, just like the Tri-colored. Big, bold, flashy, we were the ones that other nations looked to for inspiration. Like ancient Rome, we sent our influences far and wide through the different lands we conquered. We were ubiqoutious; we were abundant.
But blink, and suddenly a change has occurred. Suddenly the lean, fit empire has become soft and flabby. In a short manner, our orderly, regulated world has erupted in a chaotic fashion. In an instant, we find ourselves on the attack from within and without. That proud, global bulldog has awoken to find his house on fire, and his yard flooded.
Who could possibly have the answer to these exingencies? What solution could possibly turn an up-side down world right-side up?
I think my friend with the deadly aim and the coat of many colors may have an answer. Oh, he may not be the answer, but with his needle-like bill, he is pointing straight at the answer.
"They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."
A world searching for answers with unprecedented fervor. A race of people in frantic straits, seeking solutions that just won't materialize. A planet full of people that refuse to turn.
And a creation that is forever pointing up, in hopes that one day humanity will come to it's senses, and turn to it's Creator.
That is, perhaps, the greatest secret my friend the Tri-colored Heron knows...
But he's only a sign-post on the journey home.
I am sharing this on Spiritual Sundays. and Bragging on God Fridays.