I connected with Caiobhe early on in my foray into the blogging community. She has been a continuous encouragement to me for the journey, and she is a lovely writer. Please join me in welcoming her to the de(tales) series.
I got off the train. I had ten minutes before my connecting train was due. I walked at the pace of the people around me as we moved forward, en masse, to hurry to our destinations and into another day.
His fluorescent orange tabard caught my eye, and as I turned my head to him I realised that on his arm was a bird of prey. A hawk at the station. Waiting on the platform.
Throughout my life I’ve been both proud of and embarrassed by my mother’s tendency to strike up conversations with complete strangers; who in a very short space of time are no longer strangers, but people whose lives have become known to her as she tells them about Jesus and sympathizes with their aches or broken hearts or difficult circumstances.
And now I find myself talking to strangers. I’m curious about them. I want to know more. Always.
So I approached the man in the orange tabard.
I asked him if I could take a photo of the hawk. I wasn’t sure why I wanted the photo, I’m not particularly interested in birds or animals, but I knew that at that moment it was something I needed to capture. He said yes, and after I took my picture we talked.
He told me that this was a hawk in training. She had been brought in as part of the strategy to control the pigeons nesting in the roof of the station. The railway wanted them removed and another hawk had been scaring them away every day. This bird was learning the job. The first thing she had to do was to become familiar with the environment, so every day he brought her to fly around the station.
The next thing he said to me made me catch my breath.
‘She doesn’t know what to do to the pigeons, but when the pigeons see her they think they are seeing the hawk I’ve brought before. They go. They fly away. And this one, she doesn’t know what to do and yet she already has the power; she just doesn’t understand how to use it. She doesn’t know about her power yet, but the pigeons do. They see it. ’
And then I thanked him for chatting with me and we parted.
As I crossed the station concourse and waited for my train I went over and over his words in my mind ‘this one… she doesn’t know what to do and yet she already has the power; she just doesn’t understand how to use it.’
I knew that I was being shown something that I had forgotten, or maybe had never really believed.
The new hawk. The untrained hawk. Flying aimlessly among the pigeons with no idea what to do. That was me.
But I, you, we look like the other hawk. We look like the one who walked on earth, took on our form and lived like us. The one who came from glory and had the power of God in him from the moment of his birth to the moments of glorious resurrection and ascenscion.
When they see us they think they are seeing Him. We bear his likeness.
We are overshadowed by the wings of the Father. We are clothed in the righteousness of the Son. We move in the power of the Holy Spirit. When the darkness sees us it sees the power of the Trinity. We don’t understand it, we haven’t yet learned to use it, but it is with us and it is visible to others.
I have spent months in a battle. A battle for which I have felt ill equipped, but what I needed to realize on that particular day, and what I keep needing to remember is this:
That when they see me they see Him.
I’ve got the power and I’m learning to use it.
Caiobhe (meaning 'Beautiful at Birth') is the pseudonym used by the writer of The Hope Diaries. Following infidelity (her own) she was found by the reality of Hope, and writes about marriage post-affair, seen through the paradigm of faith and hope in Jesus. She writes an honest account of her journey, believing above everything else that God is enough.
You can check out the other de(tales) (so far) here.