Flying With the Eagles


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Deano called my cell phone and told me it was time to pick up our grandson, Jonah.  They had been in the combine and Jonah was starting to feel sleepy. 

When I threw my shoes on, I had to take a minute and think…where did he say they were?  I pushed the tiny buttons on my phone and waited…..ring 1, ring 2, ring 3…oh, no….what if he doesn’t answer!  And then on ring 4, Deano told me, “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you….we’re down on the field where we saw the eagle.” 

For the past seven years, Dean and I have referred to that field as the “one where we saw the eagle.”  It was quite the experience! 

I threw my heavy, warm winter coat on, and headed out the door.  Even though it was a fall day, it felt more like winter.  As I started the ignition, it was like the ignition of my mind was prompted, and I immediately began to remember the fall day, similar to this one, and allowed myself to walk back in time… years. 

Dean and I had been married a few short months when he asked me to ride with him in the combine.  Even though I had grown up on the edge of town in southwest Iowa, with the cornfields at the dead end of my street, I had never been inside a combine. 

Although excited at the prospect of being with this wonderful husband of mine, I didn’t relish the climb of the large steep stairs to get into the machine, and I was sitting on some sort of hump of a tire, while my head banged into the side of the window.  Let’s just say, it wasn’t as enjoyable as watching an old Audrey Hepburn movie, or playing the piano.  But…I was with Dean, and that was all that mattered. 

I looked at the side of his face as he steered the big machine through the corn and breathed a prayer of thanks.  I couldn’t believe how kind he was, how sensitive, how gentle and loving, and how wonderful he was to my children.  It was almost scary to me to believe that I was living this life now. 

And it hit me…that sadness that seems to still creep in now and then, was there….even back then.  Why did I have to be 42 when I met him?  I smiled and handed him some pretzels as we bounced back and forth turning to head the opposite direction. 

After about 45 minutes, Dean asked me if I wanted to drive.  I agreed only so that I could get out of the cramped place I was sitting and clutched the huge steering wheel, peering out over it to the field ahead.  And Dean shouted, “Stop! Stop!”  And I stopped.  

There it was….big, beautiful, majestic….glorious. ….a beautiful bald eagle.  I had seen them in history books and on stamps, but never in real life.  It sat looking straight at us and we barely could take a breath.  It seemed forever, when in actuality, it was only a few short moments, but I could see its wing span as it began to fly above us and soar and sail so freely in the sky. 

That was it….it represented freedom and it looked so confident….so alive…so free.


I continued my drive through the field for a couple of rounds and said to my husband….this is a sign for me from God.  I am no longer bound by the old chains that have held me tight.  The bonds of the sins of others and sins against my children were no longer keeping us bound in regret and pain.  I am no longer held prisoner and captive to the old ways, but am now free….free to walk the life I believe, we were meant to walk. 

And I thought of how strange our minds can be at times.  We start believing that the way we are treated is the “norm.”  We believe that living in captivity, harnessed by embarrassment and control, is the way it’s supposed to be.  And our bars and our chains hold us back. 

But Jesus died for that.  He died to set the captive free.  We are no longer bound by the old ways, but are released into freedom.


The eagle spread his wings and flew far above us, but never too far away, as I realized and embraced that symbol of freedom.  I was no longer alone.  I had a blessing from God that I had prayed for, since I was 12….a spouse who would love me and love my children. 

Today, as I pulled the car into the field, I waved to my grandbaby and blew a kiss to my husband.  As Deano tucked Jonah into his car seat I asked him, “Well, Jonah..did you and Papa see any eagles?” 

We never know when we’ll see them…..but I will always remember that as I started this life with Farmer Dean, it was a reminder of God’s goodness, His grace, and the freedom that He provides when we walk in His will….and on His path.