John the Great Eagle and the Sunrise
by Deacon Tom Frankenfield
After a long night of peaceful sleep, John the Great Eagle had an amazing appetite. John burst from his nest and flew with great energy towards the Great Forest. With his sharp eyesight, he quickly scanned the terrain to find the perfect meal. Having a friend gave John an extraordinary feeling of joy and he wanted to take pleasure in all that was going to happen on this new day, especially breakfast.
After a hearty meal, John decided to find his friend Mick the Pelican. He did not know how to treat a friend because Mick was the first friend in John’s short life but he thought a gift would be nice. So, once again John decided to travel to the Great Water. The inner joy of the previous day had given him amazing strength and he flew faster than ever.
He flew close to the water’s edge at a great speed. Expecting to hear Mick’s scratchy voice singing happily in the distance, John kept soaring. He did not hear Mick’s voice but the voices of humans. In fact, they seemed angry. John the Great Eagle slowed his flight so he could hear what they were saying.
“This one is a trouble maker, let’s get rid of him,” said the loudest voice from the crowd of humans. “He is friends with everyone, even eagles and he even takes food to feed others. Let’s make an example of him. Let’s kill him and hang him on a tree for all to see,” the voices said with great hate.
John was shocked. What could a single eagle do to help whoever was going to be killed? So, John soared closer to get a better look.
“Oh no” John the Great Eagle cried out in pain. Suddenly he started to fall from the sky. He was completely paralyzed with fear and John could no longer flap his wings.
These men were about to kill a pelican. Could it be Mick? Could it be the only friend John had ever had? John wanted to cry.
Gathering all the strength he could, John straightened his flight path and avoided crashing in the Great Water. However, he was sick and in pain. What could John do? There were so many humans in the crowd. Before he could decide on a plan, he heard a loud cry and then a deep silence.
Finally, John heard the hammering of nail. They hung a pelican to die! John was now sure that the victim was his friend Mick the Pelican -- John the Great Eagle was heartbroken. So, John flew back to his nest and cried as the sun set on this painful day.
The next day was so intense that John could not leave the nest. He was sick with grief for losing a friend. So, John just lay still in his nest until the sun set another time and John fell asleep once again.
Now the next morning was different. John was awoken by a burst of bright light in the sky. The sun was brighter and more dazzling than John had ever remembered. Plus, John smelled a sweet scent of flowers in the morning air. John felt a tingling inside—something was unusual!
Immediately John thought of Mick the Pelican and cried out in pain one more time. This time was different, however. The more John thought of Mick, the sweeter the smell came over John and his pain lessened. In his heart John the Great Eagle felt he had to return to the tree where the pelican was hung. With great energy, John flew quickly to the tree.
The tree was empty! What did they do with the body? Where was Mick?
All of a sudden, out of the brightness of the sunshine a pelican came flying towards John. At first glance, the pelican looked as white as snow. John had a startled look on his face.
Suddenly, John heard a familiar scratch voice. “Peace be with you.” It was Mick! He was all right! The bright sun of this morning and the sweet smell of the air had renewed John’s heart. His hope had returned and his friend was not dead.
Mick wrapped his long grey wings around John and comforted John as John celebrated Mick’s return. John the Great Eagle felt safe once more now that he was being hugged by his friend, Mick the Pelican.
My friends Jesus died for us because he loves us. Best of all, he conquered death by rising from the dead. Now we all have hope and our lives can have peace. Just like John the Great Eagle was loved by Mick the Pelican, let Jesus hug you and love you.
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