Other than some unrequested sex advice from an older gentleman and my father initially forgetting to give us our rings, my wedding was fairly normal. (My dad recovered by throwing in an extra prayer, which by the way is the pastor “go to” move when you need to cover up something you’ve forgotten.) My friend’s wedding however, her wedding was extraordinary.
She married a great guy that is a scholar of the Bible. I know a little and am in the process of learning more, but this guy has like a third degree black belt in Bible. One of the ways he honored this deep love for the Bible is by having an eagle in his wedding.
Go ahead and read that last sentence again, it’s a big one.
While most people plan candle moments and have their second tier friend that was not good enough to be in the wedding party read “love is patient,” this guy actually hired an eagle to make a cameo. Now, there’s some debate about whether it was an eagle or a hawk. I think that’s kind of like arguing about whether it was a shark or a barracuda that bit your foot off. The details don’t matter nearly as much as the fact that he had a bird of prey in his wedding.
My brother went and said that he spent most of the wedding planning action scenes in his head in which the eagle swooped down and flew off with the flower girl. It didn’t though. Apparently it sat up next to the minister on a tall perch looking “eagly” and just chilling, with a look on it’s face that kind of said, “Yeah, I’m an eagle. Don’t sweat the technique.”
The reason my friend loves eagles is due in large part to the Bible verse in Isaiah 40:31 that says “they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” And he’s not alone. I found 41 eagle-themed products this morning on a Christian retail site.
But I don’t think that’s enough. I don’t think we’ve worked enough eagle into our lives. (Please insert your own “more cowbell, more eagle” joke right here.) So I prepared a short list of ways I think having an eagle on staff could help a church.
1. Interpretive Dance
Can you imagine how amazing it would be to have a live eagle fly around your sanctuary while people did an interpretive dance routine to Bette Midler’s song, “Wind beneath your wings?” I’m starting to tear up a little right now just thinking about seeing him unfurl his wings as sweet Bette sings “Flyyyyy, flyyyyyyy, fly high against the sky…”
2. The Seat Saver
I personally am not a huge fan of that guy or girl that saves 19 seats at church with a variety of papers and Bibles and purses. As I’ve mentioned before, we do all this work to get visitors there but then tell them they can’t sit here, here or anywhere right there. An eagle would fix that. I would have our falconmaster (you would need to add that position to your church regardless of if an eagle is considered a falcon, someone needs to wear that big leather glove) teach the eagle how to pick up the junk people use to save seats. Just as you put down a trail of bulletins across some seats you wanted to save, a massive missile of feathers and talons and beak would swoop down from the heavens and steal every one of them.
3. The Crying Kid
Occasionally, someone feels there kid is too old or young or special or tired or delicate to attend child care or Sunday School. So they bring him in the church, squirt Capri Suns down his throat for energy and then pretend they don’t hear him wailing through the entire service. Oh, but the eagle hears. The eagle hears all. With the softest approach in the game, the eagle would lightly pick up the child, carry him away and drop him in a ball pit outside with all the other crying kids. (Am I the only one that thinks this way?)
4. The Hype Man
Instead of having that guy/girl on staff that is in charge of randomly yelling “amen” during the sermon to get the crowd going, you could use the eagle. Whenever you made a good point or wanted to increase the energy in the room, you could have the eagle just do that loud, piercing scream they are known for. You would never dose off in church again. Although some pastors would abuse it and use it too often like the way I once abused the phrase “if by.” I was constantly saying stuff like, “Am I hungry? No, if by “no” you mean hungry enough to eat my shoes.” My younger brothers Will and Bennett had to have a joke intervention. It was a very unfunny time in my life. I’ve moved on.
I think there a million ways we could add the skills of an eagle to most churches. Does anyone have an eagle I could borrow? Or know of anyone that sells eagles? I have to tell you. A friend of mine whose name starts with J and ends with “on Acuff” tried to find them online and it’s not that easy.