When Life Hands You Buzzards

by Andy Wood on January 3, 2014

in Turning Points

Deer Bluff

(Looking up from below Deer Bluff. The picture doesn’t do it justice.)


Family reunion at the farm, and it was crowd-ed.  People were in every nook and cranny, and I don’t even know what a cranny is.  I just needed to get away and spend time with the Lord. I so wanted to be refreshed by His presence and hear His voice speak to me in the way only He can.

What better way to do that than to enjoy the Father’s presence in nature?  I was about 16 at the time, and for me that could only mean one thing – mount Grandaddy’s old Ford tractor and make the trek to the enchantment of Deer Bluff.

Ever since I was young, this area near the farm has held a special place in my heart.  Something of a cross between a wonder of nature and a place of epic imagination and adventure, Deer Bluff wasn’t an easy place to reach on a good day. If it had been raining or people had been hauling pulpwood out of the area, simply getting there became a quest.

But on this summer day the quest lay before me. Before reunion activity reached fever pitch, I would steal away and spend an hour with the Lord.



Letting Him renew my spirit.

So away I went…

through the woods…

past the series of gates and barbwire gaps…

across the high meadow…

past Cat Bluff…

The tension was peeling away and I was so excited about meeting the Lord at Deer Bluff.

How long has it been since you took that trek through the mountains or along the shoreline, or perhaps in the flower or vegetable garden and experienced through creation the wonder of your Creator?

I was loving it and hadn’t even gotten there yet.  But I had a plan.  I would come in from the topside and take the little trail that wraps down around the side of the bluff to the little crag in the rock we called a cave.  Wasn’t really much of a cave, but you could partly get out of the rain there if you wanted to, or you could even start a fire there, which has been known to happen. And the dozens of initials carved into the porous rock near the cave testify to the many people who found as much adventure and fun at Deer Bluff as I did.

I had my Bible, and the plan was to sit at the edge of the cave and look out across the treetops and woods below and just enjoy meeting the Lord.

Around a little curve in the trail, as I approached the cave, I met two hissing buzzards instead.  No more than four feet from where I stood, they were having something dead for breakfast, and I wasn’t invited.

I didn’t know buzzards could hiss. Or be that hostile. They always seem like such docile, peaceful birds as they float up in the sky, waiting for things to die.

Not today.

Scared the hooey out of me.

I made a beeline back to the tractor.  Tried to make some semblance of a devotional time from the tractor seat.  Ten minutes later, I was headed back the way I came.

Suddenly the farm didn’t seem so crowded.

And I think… um… well… I think… if there’s a floor in heaven, the Lord fell over on it laughing hysterically.

How long has it been since you took that mini-pilgrimage to meet The Lord or to experience something spiritually profound – and met buzzards instead?

You may as well laugh about it.

I imagine He is.

And the meeting is in the laughter.

Martha Orlando January 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

“The meeting is in the laughter.” . . . . 2014 met us head-on with some unexpected doubts and blessings all mixed together. I don’t think the buzzards could have figured this one out in order to decide how to go in for the kill, and God has rescued, at least for the time being. And, in it all, I am feeling blessed.

Wonderful reflection, Andy! May you experience all the joys God has in the offing for you and yours in this New Year!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..Watch!

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