Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It's your view from the bridge.
Recently I explained to my fellowship how our interpretations of things are often influenced by our view of the river; by which bridge we are standing on. History is like a river, and rivers can look very different from different locations. When we stand on the bridge and look at the Brazos River here at Navasota, it looks quite different than the same river up in north Texas. This was my way of pleading for tolerance of various viewpoints as we look at passages in the Bible.
Sometimes our vantagepoint can lead us to drastically flawed perceptions. This photo is one example of that. It was taken this time last year. I was on my way to Temple to see my daughter when I saw an amazing whirlwind of large birds in the sky. I followed the whirlwind as it floated parallel to the highway, and wondered what the birds were doing. They were snow geese, and were headed north after wintering here in Texas. I finally decided that they were circling wildly and happily at the idea of going home to Canada.
Perhaps they had become disoriented and the leader was trying to get his berings, and desperately leading them in circles. Maybe they were playing some kind of bird game.
I took a number of photographs of the seemingly glorious display and had no idea what I had seen until I brought the photos up on my screen at home. Then I saw them. Eagles. Golden Eagles were circling the hapless geese and picking them off like so much Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was literally a wild goose chase. The geese had been circling out of a defensive instinct... and the older, or younger and slower members were being sacrificed to buy passage to the north. It was a picture of mayhem. And yet it was marvelous and beautiful from where I stood.
Inspired, I drove on as if I had been personally blessed with a salute from those majestic geese above. I had seen what I wanted to see. If I had not photographed it, I would have felt good every time I thought about it for the rest of my life. But my photograph, once enlarged, brought me to their view of the river. Now this photo reminds me to withhold judgemnt, no matter how obvious the scene appears. There may be eagles in the sky that will change everything.