More Mother Eagle Songs

Eagle, nest with youngmany eagles

The biblical image of God as a Mother Eagle resonated with so many of my readers that I decided to write this follow-up to my blog with the “Mother Eagle, Teach Us to Fly” video and to include two more of my Mother Eagle songs:

35 Stir Us Out of Our Safe Nest Mother Eagle copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir us out of our safe nest;
Mother Eagle, come nearby.
Hold us close to your warm breast,
while we learn to risk and fly.
Lift us up with you, we pray;
help us see a bright new day.

Take us up on your strong wings;
Mother Eagle, give us flight;
borne aloft our spirits sing,
as we soar into your light.
Lift us up with you, we pray;
help us see a bright new day.

Mother Eagle, send us out,
freely flying on our own.
Claiming all our gifts we shout,
glad to be at last full grown.
Soaring now with you, we say,
“Look, there dawns the bright new day.”

As with Eagle’s wings we fly,
leaving each confining place.
For fresh air and forms, we cry,
as we move out into space.
Soaring now with you, we say,
“Look, there dawns the bright new day.”

Words © 1996 Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians (Eakin Press, 2006)

32. Come, Mother Eagle, Show the Way copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come, Mother Eagle, show the way
to streams of kindness flowing;
we long to live in peaceful lands,
where love is ever growing.

Come, Mother Eagle, stir us now
to leave confining places,
to rise to welcome everyone,
all genders, forms, and races.

Come, Mother Eagle, give us flight
to glorious revelations;
illumine ways to change our world,
to join in new creation.

Come, Mother Eagle, lift us all
to soar with you in daring,
to co-create a world of peace,
of beauty, joy, and sharing.

Words © 2014 Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Earth Transformed with Music! Inclusive Songs for Worship (Eakin Press, 2015).

Here are some responses I received from my previous blog with the “Mother Eagle, Teach Us to Fly” video:

“What a beautiful image of our God.”
“Thank you for reminding us of Mother Eagle who encourages us to fly.”
“I felt so uplifted by this.”
“This is my ‘chill and pray’ music when I need to reboot between hospice patients.”
“This message arrived right on time for me.”

All We're Meant to BeIn my blog I wrote about how All We’re Meant to Be, by Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy A. Hardesty, transformed my life and vocation. So I was delighted to receive these comments from Letha:

“The message the song conveys is powerful – and so needed in these times. The emphasis on the Mother’s care and protection comes through loud and clear, but it doesn’t stop there. It emphasizes the goals of the Mother Eagle—to see her children grow strong and free to be all they were meant to be. To learn to believe they (and we) can fly and then to actually do so! To spread our wings with confidence and strength when so many forces would try to tether us to the ground and keep us from soaring.”

Letha goes on to mention an article, “Women’s Lib: Friend or Foe?,” published in The Alliance Witness in 1970, the year Nancy and she were in the early stages of writing the first edition of All We’re Meant to Be. The article presented “Women’s Lib” as “foe,” demeaning the women’s movement and arguing that “Scriptures declare unequivocally that the sexes are not equal.” Letha comments that “teachings like that were, of course, a main reason” they were writing All We’re Meant to Be. “Watching your video was such an antidote to reading those restrictive views again—views that have clipped the wings of so many girls and women and caused them to think they had no right to pray the prayer of your song. As we know, many boys and men have also been harmed by the notion that they were ordained to dominance, which all too often is being displayed in today’s political climate in a form some behavioral scientists are calling a dangerous ‘toxic masculinity.’”

All We’re Meant to Be demonstrates that Scriptures unequivocally teach gender equality. Letha and Nancy had great courage in flying out of the traditional nest to write this book. Mother Eagle helped them soar “far above the clouds” of opposition to bring this liberating Good News.

DivineFeminineAnother book that has had a significant influence on my theology and ministry is The Divine Feminine: The Biblical Imagery of God as Female, by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott. Virginia mines Scripture to elucidate Female Divine names and images, such as Midwife, Dame Wisdom, Bakerwoman, Mother Hen, and Mother Eagle. This book inspired me as I began to expand my language for Deity, to follow my calling to write on the importance of inclusive language and to create songs that include biblical Female Divine names and images.

In her chapter “God as Mother Eagle,” Virginia quotes Deuteronomy 32:11-12: “As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings; so God alone did lead Jacob”; and Job 39:27: “Does the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” She comments: “Deuteronomy 32 and Job 39 depict the mother eagle teaching her eaglets to fly and to hunt their own food. . . . the mother eagle takes the eaglets on her wings, swoops downward suddenly to force them into solo flight, then stays close to swoop under them again whenever they grow too weary to continue on their own. What a picture of a loving God, caring nurturantly for us when we are weak, yet always aiming at the goal of our maturity and internalized strength rather than at morbid dependency upon a force external to ourselves!” Virginia writes that Mother Eagle “images the nature of God in relationship to her children”; Mother Eagle pictures the Divine as “actively trying to create equals by empowering the eaglets to take care of themselves.”

How fitting it is then that Virginia Ramey Mollenkott received the first Mother Eagle Award, jointly presented by Christian Feminism Today and The Gay Christian Network. Here is a description of the award and Virginia’s acceptance speech. I hope you’ll listen to her whole speech in which she tells her inspiring story and gives compelling reasons for including Female Divine names and images in our churches. She concludes with this challenge and blessing: “Work with me and with the Cosmic Mother Eagle in the creating of social justice by stirring up our nest, fluttering over our young, and spreading abroad our wings! And may the magnificent Mother Eagle bless us everyone.”

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