Revulsion might set in if you watch a wake of vultures gathering around a corpse for a feast. The ugly bird of prey may seem like nothing but a garbage truck with a 7-and-a-half to 9-foot wingspan, but they’re really so much more beautiful than that.

I’m giving them a second look.

I’ve been reading Debbie Blue’s Consider the Birds. As an armchair ornithologist, I’m fairly convinced that birds were once dinosaurs. And, the vulture goes a long way toward convincing me I’m right.

Vultures are death eaters. They literally ingest dead things and clean up the earth.

Back in 1973, Jewish linguists and zoologists had a fight. It seems the word nesher was mistranslated to eagle. Quite a mistake. (You can read more about it here.) Especially if your read Isaiah 40:31:

But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength;
they rise up as if they had vultures’* wings,
they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired.

Isaiah 40:31, *the NET translates it at eagles’ wings

Doesn’t seem as poetic to this Westerner until your reconsider it.

Do you know, that according to Blue, a vulture has collided with an airplane? Not unusual really unless your consider the fact that at the time of collision the airplane was cruising at 37,000 feet. (Where’s that big eye emoji?) No eagle has ever been clocked that high.

Vultures soar on thermals and use their large wingspan to save energy. They have very keen eyesight and can spot a carcass from about four miles away.

Still revulsed? Think about that death eater part. That part where they ingest death and their bodies are capable of purifying it and excreting it out like it had no power at all. And, then think about communion.

Christ is our great Death Eater, Defeater. ❤