From the horror of reading Alex Haley’s account of being taken across the sea in a slave ship, I looked up at the Penobscot River in Bangor, just as a bald eagle was flying over the sunset colored water. It was larger than the people who are pulled along by handrails. It was larger than the boats casting their nets. Larger than the trains coming over bridges. Larger than church steeples in the distance. It was faster than boats, flapping it wings slow and powerful, then gliding briefly, unafraid of work, it was going somewhere, determined. Crows chased and pecked at it for a few wing spans, then spun back, the eagle not even taking notice. I imagine that’s how God feels about anyone disgracing her earth. I imagine she’s sure of her beauty, and forgiving of pettiness. I imagine that the eagle is me and the crow is everyone afraid to know me. I imagine I’ve seen God in a glimpse, too shocked to quite believe in the glory of what I’ve seen.

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