The curious incident of the dead owl in the daytime

So God has been speaking to me in some funny ways this last few weeks and it’s all got to do with owls….

Last week I was coming out of work and my eyes were drawn to a van parked up with what seemed to be some feathers stuck in the front of the grill. When I got closer I realised it was a dead bird, and not only that, it was a dead owl.

It was really rather sad, and quite alarming that there was a dead owl, wings spread, stuck in the front of this van. I mean, why was it there? did the driver not realise he had hit it? did he not realise it was there, stuck in the grill? Surely someone else had noticed? The driver was nowhere to be seen, and the friend I was with did check to make sure it wasn’t alive and stuck.

So, I’m sorry about the rather macabre start to this post, it’s just that since then, for over a week, I just couldn’t get it out of my head, it’s such a strange thing to see, I felt that somewhere in it God must be trying to show me something.

So I prayed and I felt God was saying that owls bring wisdom into dark places, but those doing that work need to do so with all their senses alert and in tune with God. One false move and danger wins. 

In the bible owls are mentioned several times and the prophets often refer to them inhabiting great ruins, after great destruction and war. I quite like this imagery, that in a place of great pain and heartache the owl lives, bringing with it wisdom, maturity and intelligent thought. In a place where many will not go, and yet where some are stuck unable to leave with nothing left, something brings wisdom into all that. I wonder if that isn’t what we are called to do? Take the gospel into the dark places.

Anyway, since then, I’ve been wondering if there is something more important in all this, something prophetic maybe and I’ve asking God to show me. In the last week I have literally seen owls everywhere – not real ones (!) but I’ll glance in a shop window and there will be an owl, or on the weekend I went to a jewellers to pick something up and looked across the room and there in the cabinet was a silver owl, and then yesterday my son (who knows nothing of my recent owl obsession) brought me home from church a Mothers Day gift – and it was an owl! To top it all off, and just in case I was still thinking it might be a coincidence (I wasn’t)  I saw this when flicking through Facebook, below, it’s from Kris Vallotton, a modern day prophet at Bethel church in the US.

Some people were commenting on his post, what on earth does he mean a ‘prophetic mascot’, and my interpretation would that it’s simply an encouragement for those who are prophetic. It can be lonely place, and the darkness can feel overwhelming, but just to take this and be encouraged, God has a purpose for you.

I’m not sure what God has been saying to me through this yet, but I’ve always been fascinated by the gift of prophecy and I feel that God has given me some gifting in this area, and recently I’ve been studying it more and more, reading up on the Old Testament prophets and reading about prophecy in general. I’m sure this isn’t a coincidence!  I don’t know, right now this is a jumble of thoughts from the last few weeks, but whatever, it’s exciting because I know God is speaking to me through all this!

Owl Update: 19/3/15

So now I think I know what this whole owl thing is about….

On Wed eve we had a gathering for leaders for one of our missional projects. It turned from a meeting into an evening of worship and prayer and sharing how God has been moving in each of our lives. It was amazing how all our stories and words from God matched up with each others! The message basically being that in this project we need to be completely focussed on God and that we should be seeking him more for the prophetic in this area.

So I feel that this whole owl word, is for now and for this particular project, for us as a team to be completely centred on God (and if we’re honest this focus had shifted slightly). But also to be carrying the light (and wisdom) into the darkness and in so doing being aware of the danger and that we need to have all our senses tuned to him, at all times. 

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  • Reply
    March 17, 2015 at 7:15 am

    God seems quite good at signs and portents most of them quite oblique and not at all easy to see where he might be pointing us towards.

    Sometimes he can be more direct, probably through an experiences with others or something said by others, which seem to point out something that should have been blindingly obvious.

    There's bee a number of events in recent weeks which seem to imply things, one a meeting I went to about an Ecumenical event being held in the 40 days between Easter and Pentecost. All of the Churches in our borough are gathering together with a bus kitted out as a Prayer station, manned by trained volunteers, which will be in every area of the borough throughout the 40 days, offering opportunities for people to pray or to be prayed for, or just to come, drink tea and to chat.

    This is something close to my heart – I've been thinking about doing something like it locally, now it's been laid on for us. God does his work through others, to help us to see where he might be taking us.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    wow Ernie I love that idea, a prayer bus – giving me ideas!

  • Reply
    Joan of Quark
    March 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Not sure if this will help or complicate matters, but…

    Owls in the Old Testament are generally not about wisdom; that association was probably first made by the Greeks. In Hebrew scriptures they are unclean birds and their making a home in ruins is a sign of gloom and solitude.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks Joan. I have read up on OT owls too, and agree they are classed as unclean birds. But they seem to appear after destruction has happened, being the only creatures that can live in such a place, hence my comment above about bringing wisdom into those dark places where no one will go. Yes, wisdom in owls is a more modern thought but I don't know that's just what I feel God was saying. I'm in the middle of writing another pst on wisdom, so will write more in the next few days.

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