Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Eagle's Wings

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

They are saying on the news that the funeral of Gerald Ford last week was one of the biggest events in Grand Rapids history, and they are still talking about it. The newspaper has covered it extensively over the past couple of weeks, and a couple of things have stood out to me:

One day, the paper had an interview with one of the pilots who flew one of the jets in the 21-jet flyover (Missing Man formation). This tribute is only done at the funerals of Presidents and Vice-Presidents. The pilot said that he felt he was carrying the pride of an entire nation as he saw thousands of flashbulbs going off when they were performing the tribute. It took hundreds of people thousands of hours to prepare for it. There were 27 fighter jets and 4 tankers that flew overhead during the mission who all flew to GR from Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina. They performed the maneuver at sunset and flew back home. There had been a delay which necessitated some complex refueling maneuvers 20,000 feet over GR. All that goes in to this comes down to the precise timing involved with a 5-7 second leeway. They pulled it off with perfection and left the entire city spellbound.

Then last night, I read in the paper about another flyover which could only have been orchestrated by God. During the funeral at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, a man was standing outside during the service with a pair of binoculars to get a good view of things. He also had a program of the funeral proceedings. At the time when Sgt. Alvie Powell of the US Army Chorus was most likely singing "On Eagle's Wings", he looked in the sky with the binocular's and spotted a lone American bald eagle. Amazing! (He then showed it to the city's Mayor).

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31


Marianna said...

Julia - did you know that that is the verse that your oldest nephew has tattooed on his arm?

Jewels said...

I don't know why I didn't.