Mar 23 2011

Experiencing Creation Vicariously

Eagle with fishLet me say right off that I believe that there’s no better way to experience God’s Creation than by getting outdoors and enjoying it firsthand.  There are, however, some wonderful alternatives.  In recent weeks I’ve spent a good bit of time in front of the computer watching a live cam of an eagle’s nest in Norfolk, Virginia.  A friend told me about the site about the time the eagle pair had produced their three eggs.  About a week and a half ago the first eaglet was born.  Since then, its two siblings have also hatched.  What an incredible blessing it has been to watch the eagle pair care for their little eaglets.  I especially enjoy watching the feeding sessions.  If you would like to check out the live cam here is the link: http://www.wvec.com/marketplace/microsite-content/eagle-cam.html.  (This has become a very popular site so if you don’t get on at first, keep trying.  Also, make sure to open the discussion site to the right; there’s lots of great information on eagles available there.)

Getting to watch what I’ve seen on the live cam would be next to impossible in the wild.  In the vast majority of cases it would not be safe for me or the eagles to do so.  For that reason I am grateful for modern technology and the opportunities that we are given to observe nature vicariously.  In the past I’ve also enjoyed watching live cams of grizzly bears at McNeill River in Alaska and of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.  If you can’t be there in person, this is the next best thing.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about bald eagles through books and also lectures I’ve heard given by my friend, Ken Jenkins.  A number of years ago I accompanied Ken on a trip to the Chilkat Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska.  It was an amazing experience.   This, combined with the wonderful live cam in Virginia, has vastly increased my knowledge of this majestic bird. 

Lone eagle on branch 4Students of the Bible will recall that the eagle is mentioned several times in Scripture.  Often it portrays speed and power.  In both the Old Testament (Ezekiel 1:10-14) and New Testament (Revelation 4:7) the eagle is included as one of the manifestations of God.  In Exodus 19:4 God speaks to the Hebrews and says, “You yourselves have seen…how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.”  Perhaps the most famous biblical reference to eagles is found in Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I encourage you to check out the live eagle nest cam and to reflect on God’s Word as you do.  If you do I suspect you’ll find yourself giving thanks for God’s wonderful Creation and for the opportunity to experience it vicariously from time to time.

–Chuck

(I took the images above at the Chilkat Eagle Preserve in Alaska.)