I have been haunted for a week by what the Hindu would call a "Darsana" which, loosely translated, means "visions of the divine". This First Sunday in Lent, as we sang Forty Days and Forty Nights, I was again reminded of this incredible sight when we got to the verse which contains the words "Victor in the wilderness, grant we may not faint or fall."

So what was this vision of the divine? I wish I could show you; I wish I had been prepared to take the photo, one of those once in a lifetime photos.

I am one of those lucky souls who get to travel the beautiful back roads and highways of Alabama as I go about my job. In addition to providing me with much savored time alone, this beautiful state provides a virtual feast of God's creation. As I drove the other week, I glanced over to the side of the road where, on an old oak , sat the largest Red-tailed Hawk I have ever seen. It had to have been at least three feet tall. I understand that they can reach 26 inches, but this one seemed much taller. I see hawks all the time; they are not strangers to the side roads, where they sit and watch for prey along the roadside. What was so stunning about this hawk was that I did not see it as a predator, watching for prey; I only saw the majesty of this incredible creature. He or she, I know not which, sat so still, not flinching, as cars and trucks whipped by at breakneck speeds, totally at peace where it was at that moment in time. The large tallons wrapped around the branch of the old oak, wings tucked securely back against its body, silently observing all who passed by. My initial thought was what a day to forget your camera - you will never have that opportunity again. As my day passed and I thought about the hawk, it occurred to me that the hawk reminded me of God, silently observing as we pass through this life. Watching, waiting, to see if we notice him. With more time to reflect on this experience, I have concluded that perhaps I should not view this as the photo that got away. Perhaps it was to be forever etched in my mind's eye as a constant reminder to always be aware of the visions of the divine, least we miss the Victor in the wilderness.

by Dawn Glascock ©2008

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