Beneath the Cross

sunset over gulf at anna maria island floridaWe vacationed, last week, at Anna Maria Island, Florida.  Although stormy weather prevented some of the activities we had planned, we still had an amazing vacation, and enjoyed some beautiful sunsets and moonsets!

Several times we passed Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, located on one of the more prominent streets.  The sweeping roof line caught my eye, the first time we passed.gloria dei lutheran church anna maria island florida

As my eye traveled up the sweep of the roof to the peak, I noticed the osprey nest sitting at the foot of the cross, with two osprey peering over the side.  At the moment, I was driving on a busy street, unprepared to stop.  Later, when I returned for pictures, the osprey were not home.

A few scientific facts about osprey:osprey nest atop steeple of gloria dei luthern church on anna maria island florida

  • Osprey nest near water and primarily dine on fish.  Although distinctly different from hawks and eagles, they are sometimes referred to as sea hawks or fish eagles.
  • Osprey almost always mate for life.
  • Although migratory birds, osprey generally  return, each year, to the same nest to repair and expand their home.
  • Osprey nest on the highest available platform of suitable size.  Young osprey may delay mating for several years due to an insufficient supply of suitably tall structures.

One of the tallest suitable locations for osprey nesting, on this island, is at the foot of this cross.

Thinking of these majestic birds, I’ve found myself, all week, contemplating the lyrics to the familiar hymn, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus“…sometimes also whistling the tune…

May I ever make my home at the foot of the cross…both the humblest and the most exalted position in all humanity.

Your thoughts?

[Linked to God Bumps , Beholding Glory , Graceful , Seedlings , Wellspring ]

 

23 thoughts on “Beneath the Cross

  1. That is truly a beautiful analogy. Reminds me of the verse, Psalm 32:7
    “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.”

    So thankful for the message of the Cross, the gospel I cling to…magnificent worship today, Joe.

    • A beautiful psalm!

      I keep thinking, too, about the baby chicks. Both “in the shadow of his wing” and “in the shadow of the cross.”

      Such a comfort remembering that I am fully under His protection and care!

      Thank you, LauraLee!

  2. My home will forever be found through living my life at the foot of cross… oh the grace and mercy and safety found in surrender to Christ… beautiful and inspiring post. Stopping by from faith filled friday~

    • “…oh the grace and mercy and safety found in surrender to Christ…”

      Amen!

      Thank you, Danise, for stopping by and sharing!

  3. How many people drive by that same church and never notice the nest? Thank you for pointing it out to us. My husband loves birds, and he always notices this sort of thing. I’ve learned, through him, that birds can teach us so much about God and how he cares for us. I live near the coast and see osprey often. They are wonderful.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure everyone else appreciated my attentiveness, though.

      I’m driving along listening to conversations in the vehicle one minute. The next minute I’m braking in traffic, craining my head up at an odd angle, and interrupting conversation to say, “Look! Look! An osprey nest!”

      To which the rest of my family responded by first looking at me like I was nuts, and then continuing conversation…presumably wondering why I had suddenly become so fascinated by bird nests…

      Thankfully, I was vindicated the next day, when I was able to properly point out the nest in advance, rather than while it was flashing by the car window… 😉

  4. Home at the foot of the cross. That’s where I want to live but too often I think I can venture out further and further to “do”, when God would rather I “be.” There, at the foot of the cross.

    Thanks, Joe. Words for thought for me today. I’m glad you were so observant and made the spiritual connection and then shared it here.

    • “That’s where I want to live but too often I think I can venture out further and further to “do”, when God would rather I “be.””

      Yes, like the “foolish Galations” we too often forget that we are saved by grace alone, and start trying to rely on our own merit.

      At the foot of the cross, we declare ourselves to be guilty of sin and incapable of saving ourselves, yet forgiven by God’s grace and adopted as children of the King!

      Thank you, Lisa!

  5. I love this, Joe! And what a beautiful place for a home…at the foot of the cross. Shouldn’t we all build our homes right there, too? Thank YOU for such a powerful and relevant example of how to live one’s life!

    • Yes! Always at the foot of the cross! Where I can never forget as John Newton (writer of “Amazing Grace”) reportedly said, “I am a horrible sinner…and Jesus is a wonderful savior!”

  6. It’s amazing that even though humans get complacent and busy, that nature still takes time out to cry out to the Creator.

    Speaking of ospreys — I was fishing in the Snake River in Wyoming once, a beautiful hole just full of Cuthroat, when an osprey screeched overhead and dove into the pool not 15 feet in front of me and pulled out a wriggling fish.

    I knew not what to say.

    • Oh wow! Nothing like having the real expert show you how to fish, huh? 🙂

      A few months ago, I had a chance to visit the Everglades, and saw an Osprey catch a fish. It was an amazing sight! Such magnificent birds!

  7. We live in Florida and I’ve never been there. It’s at the foot of the cross where we find everything we’ve ever needed. I love this post and the reminder of where our home is found.

    • You should visit, if you get the chance, Christina! Anna Maria is a beautiful island, with a very relaxed culture. Somewhat touristy, but since we were tourists, we didn’t mind.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love your point that one of the tallest places is at the foot of this cross, Joe! That’s where I want to be found at all times! I love the pictures and the story behind the birds. Isn’t it great that God hides so many treasures for us in his creation, if we will just hunt for them. Thanks for doing the work this time around! 🙂

    • I know I’ve seen many crosses on church steeples, but not until I saw the osprey nest did I make the connection to the foot of the cross being one of the highest points around.

      Pretty cool how God hides such lessons in nature, for us to discover!

      Thanks for enjoying it with me! 🙂

  9. We’re both writing about birds! 🙂

    So sorry I’m late to the party over here … I like to visit everyone who participates in the Getting Down With Jesus link-up, if possible, but our mini-vacation to Minnesota stalled those plans. Glad you linked! I always appreciate you.

    • No problem, Jennifer!

      I’ve been rather lax, myself, on social media the past couple of weeks.

      Between vacation, business schedules, travel, internet connection issues, and an over-zealous virus-protection program, I’ve not managed to do much blog visiting and commenting, lately.

      I always enjoy the GDWJ community when I get to visit, though.

  10. What a beautiful lesson about osprey… and about life!
    Reminds me of this:
    He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
    ~ Psalm 91

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