The Prodigal

(a borrowed rendition; Author Unknown)

Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow

Forced his fond father to fork over the farthings,

Flew far to foreign fields,

And fabulously frittered his fortune with faithless friends.

Fleeced by his fellows in folly, and facing famine,

He found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy farmyard.

Fairly famishing, his fain would’ve filled his frame

With foraged food from fodder fragments.

“Fooey, my father’s flunkies fare far finer,”

The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts.

Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding,

He fled forthwith to his family.

Falling at his father’s feet, he forlornly fumbled, “Father, I’ve flunked,

And fruitlessly forfeited family fellowship favor.”

The far-sighted father, forestalling further flinching,

Frantically flagged the flunkies.

“Fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast!”

The fugitive’s fault-finding brother frowned

On fickle forgiveness of former folderol.

But the faithful father figured,

“Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found!

What forbids fervent festivity?

Let flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flare!”

His father’s forgiveness formed the foundation

For the former fugitive’s future fortitude.

The Eagles

Did Philly’s football franchise flash before you when you saw today’s title? That team interests some around here, but so do the raptors who first bore that name. The science of eagles intrigues—most of the sixty species inhabit Eurasia and Africa (making them known to biblical peoples), but only two are native to North America. Eagles sit at the top of the food chain as avian apex predators. So although other birds of prey look back over their shoulders before (or shortly after) striking a victim, eagles do not. The bald eagle, though far from the largest species, holds the record for bearing the heaviest veri­fied burden—one flying off with a fifteen-pound fawn (significantly more than what the bird itself weighed).

Two things eagles do well—see and soar. Were your eyes eagle-like, you could stand on the roof of a ten-story building and spot an ant crawling on the ground. Colors would appear more brilliant, ultraviolet visible (to help you follow urine trails of small prey), your field of vision 340° instead of 180°.

Seeing and soaring are strengths of which the scrip­tures speak: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”  “Yahweh will bring a nation against you like an eagle swooping down.” “Saul and Jonathan were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.” “Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high? It dwells on a cliff; a rocky crag is its strong­hold. From there it looks for food; its eyes detect it from afar.” “Those who hope in Yahweh will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.”

God wants us to be eagle-like: far-sighted—per- ceiv­ing even the unseen—not “nearsighted and blind, forgetting that we have been cleansed from our past sins.” And he wants us to soar, discontent to muddle among mundane matters. “I lift up my eyes to the hills.”