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From Arbel

by DanWolgemuth on March 22, 2019

A simple walk. A familiar setting, and once again, Mary spotted wild life that I would have walked past. This time, a Cooper’s Hawk in a Ponderosa Pine.

I paused and she calibrated my line of sight. And yes, there it was. Beautiful. Elegant, really. A puffed chest and a spotted tail. Virtually motionless. Hidden to anyone who is distracted or unfocused. Like me.

But not to Mary.

She wants to see wild life. She works to see wild life. And yes, she sees it. Consistently.

Days before Mary spotted the Cooper’s Hawk, I stood on the top of Mt. Arbel in Lower Galilee. It was the morning of our fourth day on tour in Israel. The city of Capernaum anchored my view to the left, and the Sea of Galilee stretched out in front of me. The view was breathtaking. Timeless.  A variation on a view that Jesus would have had. Perhaps as He taught, most certainly as He prayed.

The canvas of His mission stretched in front of Him. A city of encounters. A Sea as a classroom. A distant shore as a mission to engage the possessed and abandoned.

While I had expected to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, I hadn’t expected to catch an unrestricted view of what Jesus saw. From every vantage point, Jesus saw His mission. His focus was precise and locked.

He pursued what others dismissed. He engaged what others avoided. He loved what others despised… and from the mountain top at Arbel, I saw it. My version of a Cooper’s Hawk sitting on a branch that I had looked right past.

The overlooked. The ignored.

The least of these.

His eyes. His vision.

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. (Mark 5:1–2, ESV)

From Capernaum. Through a storm. To the other side. For an outcast.

On mission… always, on mission.

Unclean. Possessed. But in the center of Jesus’ vision. Beyond the nakedness, the self-destruction, the fear.

Jesus calibrated the eyes of His followers on why He came. Why He sacrificed. Why He endured.

In that instant, from Arbel, I caught a glimpse of what Jesus saw on the other side. I saw what His eyes never missed.

Eyes of compassion. A message of hope.

A Cooper’s Hawk. From Arbel.

“…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10, ESV)

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