I had the opportunity to spend time with my mother Dale Price and stepfather Carl Long during the months leading up to his death Oct. 23 of this year. Even though it was most challenging as I live in Northern California, all of that disappeared behind the backdrop of deep grief our family is experiencing. Those many trips to the hospital with the hope he would pull through ended with the sober reality that he is gone and won’t be back.
On the very first trip I took to my mom’s place, I was awakened by her excitedly saying, “look there is some strange bird out the window.” I got up and to my surprise saw a huge bird sitting very straight upright on a rock very close to the house. To my joy, it was an eagle! I was sure when it suddenly lifted it’s beautiful massive wings and took off in one swoop, exposing his distinct markings.
We both immediately rejoiced and believed this was a sign. We were hoping that if we were patient, our eagle Carl would be okay. The scripture Isaiah 40:30 declares, “Those who wait or put their hope upon the Lord will mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Most of us are familiar with this wonderful passage. It also declares in verse 29, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, he increases strength.”
My mother and I constantly quoted and were comforted by these powerful words. It was our prayer from the Lord himself. It helped us through the many challenges as the months wore on. I would bend over Carl’s fragile, thin body and whisper them to him time and time again. This was truly our declaration that carried us on those massive beautiful wings of our heavenly Father. The bible actually translates in the Hebrew/Greek text that the word “wings” is another word for “arms” depending how used. It is rooted in the Jewish robes that the Rabbis wore; Jesus could have worn one as he ministered to the multitudes. The little tassels on the edge of the garment were also called “wings.” I could go very deep on this subject as there is so much more. This is where we get the scripture, “The Sun of Righteousness will rise up with healing on his wings.”
This was more of the picture the Lord desires us to see, as we trust in the Lord for our healings. As we rest in his all powerful sunbeams of grace and love that come up to us as the Son of God does with all the light that goes out everywhere for everyone who believes. Now we were able to be like that eagle that in that one mighty thrust of his wings soared up and over the obstacles all around it.
We had many obstacles, sometimes daily. We saw many miracles as we rested, trusted and reached in faith motivated by love to survive the difficult challenge we had before us. Sadly, it was only temporary as it was our loved one’s time to go to his real home. As we wrestled with it we knew ultimately he would be transcending into a new place into the loving arms of the God he trusted.
I had gone to the coast for a quick rest in between trips to my mom’s place in Anza. As a friend and I drove down the coast, a huge beautiful Golden Eagle landed right smack in front of my car. I was truly frightened as he spread his massive wings out in front of the car. I had seen the same eagle a few years back, so I knew what it was. As quickly as he landed in front of me, he thrust his massive wings out and upward he went. I was blown away. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Things like this did not happen every day. After much meditation and prayer, I finally received a message from my Lord. I heard in my heart the eagle had landed. I didn’t get it at first, but after I heard the news that morning that our dear Carl had gone to heaven. I knew it was another sign that he was all right. As I mentioned, he was truly an “eagle.” He had the vision and the fortitude to stand up to a challenge when most would run. He had a deep faith and believed all that the Lord revealed. He saw things most people overlooked. Eagles have keen sight. His arms of love like God, like the eagle, reached far and wide to many that he loved.
I pray as this Thanksgiving holiday passes that we will remember to take the time to show our love and appreciation to our families while they are with us. On behalf of the family, thank you very much for all the many prayers and kind words from so many. Have a blessed and meaningful holiday season.