The LORD has the unique ability to be gentle as a mother hen, yet strong as the Mighty Man of War that He is. If ever there was a time that I needed to be covered by His feathers yet surrounded by a strong tower, it would be now.
I love the promise in Scripture that those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength and mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). Wait in that passage means to expect, or look for. It’s an active waiting, an expectant watching for the cavalry to arrive; not sitting on one’s backside while their hair falls out.
Which, however, is precisely the predicament I’m in at the moment. But first, let me explain a bit…
Eagle mates have for years carried special meaning for my husband and me. The LORD confirmed our eagle calling once again before this cancer was discovered. A magazine clipping of two eagles, one male and one female, sitting majestically side by side came into my possession. Their regal bearing and piercing eyes reached in and grabbed my soul the minute I laid eyes on them. It was part of a group exercise and I held back, waiting to see if anyone else would select that particular picture. No one did, which made me know it was God’s gift to me, carrying with it special significance. Three weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time, and now there has come even greater understanding and significance to the image of the eagle.
Back to my predicament…eagles molt like all other birds. If I’m going to become Mrs. Eagle, I too must molt. And molting I am. An unfortunate side effect of my two specific chemo drugs is hair loss. Not partial, not just thinning, but complete and total baldness. Evidently, keeping up with the eagles is not unlike keeping up with the Joneses.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, when eagles molt, they either go through a partial or complete molt. In a complete molt, all their feathers are replaced, including damaged ones which can never heal themselves. In God’s kind wisdom, a feather that has been lost completely is replaced immediately. He never leaves one uncovered to sit in shame, be it a beautiful bird in His creation – or His beloved child.
Tonight as I write, my hair has been shorn down to the nubs by my hairdresser, with a return visit for a total shave occurring in the next several days. My hair is no longer holding on; it’s just letting go. And grippingly, there’s a truth in there that even my hair knows as it whispers to me, ‘Just let go. It’s alright. Your Glorious One will cover your head while I cannot. Hide under His armor wings and trust, Nancy, just trust. Even more, He is surrounding you. The truth is that He loves you just as you are. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Abba beholds you always. Day and night. Night and day. You are loved.’
Perhaps you’re not going through cancer and chemo. It doesn’t matter; there are enough other life experiences that make one feel as though they need to be hidden under the LORD’s ‘armor wings.’ Wings that, though spread tenderly, are in and of themselves soft and fragile, but as strong and able to fortify, protect, and surround as a warrior outfitted in impenetrable armor.
Think not for a moment that you are left defenseless scratching around the hen house and watching your feathers float to the ground around your feet. There is One Who will hide your nakedness – in that place where the ‘real you’ meets up with the ‘Real Him.’ Don’t be ashamed. His truth will shield you. The truth is, He loves us. Enough to make eagle saints out of us if we ask Him to.
Waiting for my new feathers,
Mrs. Gracefully Free Eagle
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall trust. His truth shall be your shield, and buckler (your surrounding). Psalm 91:4
Not quite the ‘after’ picture…there’s nubs under that cap! The ‘before’ picture is on my About page.