Did you know that the bald eagle has two foveae? The foveae is the part of the eye that is located in the center of the macula region of the retina. It is responsible for sharp central vision that we use when we need to really focus, like during reading or driving. Since God equipped bald eagles with two foveae, they are able have focused vision forward and to the side at the same time (I’m sure that there are mothers out there wondering why God did not give them this ability too!). Unlike some other birds, eagles have eyelids that close when they are sleeping, but they also have a second translucent eyelid called a nictitating membrane that blinks every three to four seconds to keep dirt and dust out of their cornea.
Eagles can see fish in the water from several feet above the water which is actually an amazing feat since most fish are counter-shaded (darker on top) which makes them very hard to see from above. These majestic birds have human-sized eyes that see colors four times sharper than we do, which allows them to see prey moving on the ground up to a mile away. If fact when they are soaring 1000 feet above the ground their eyes can sweep a three square mile area at any given time!
As I was pondering these amazing facts, I could not help but think about a truth that Jesus taught about judging others. He said ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37, NIV) Jesus expanded on this topic by saying, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:41-42, NIV)
Wouldn’t it be great if we had “spiritual nictitating membranes” that reminded us to ask for forgiveness for our sins as we committed them, rather than allowing them to settle together and form planks? Why is it so easy to see faults in others, and so hard to admit our own failures to God and the people that we hurt? Maybe it is time for us to get alone with God and take out the chainsaw of repentance so that we can remove the logs of pride from our eyes. Jesus is standing by, waiting to show us amazing sights from above. Are we ready to soar like the eagles and truly see today?
(1) Information obtained from: http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle2.html