Vultures, a Bad Hair Day, and the Sign I Needed Help

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It was a day like any other day, except that it was “hair day.” When my hairdresser was done with me, I left the salon feeling like things could only get better. I raced into my driveway excited to get ready for a special date with my man—with good hair, of course. As I reached to get the last of my packages it happened: a big bonk to the back of my head.

At first, I thought maybe some kids were playing baseball nearby. Or, because I lived near a golf course, maybe it was a golf ball, though it felt bigger and heavier. When I was able to get my wits about me, I turned to see what was on the ground. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There it was—a huge, mangled carcass.

This is not a typo. It was a carcass. 

It looked like the chest cavity of an animal. To be clear, this wasn’t some tiny, sweet bird or something to that effect. No, this was a medium-sized carcass that truly resembled a big dog’s body. THAT was what had hit me in the back of my head. In the middle of suburbia!

I immediately looked above me to find six black vultures flying in a circle. I’m sure they were discussing (in vulture language) which one was going to swoop down and get it, or they were humiliating the one who had dropped it on the crazy lady’s head.

Terrified, I gurgled out a call for my husband, and he came running as the vultures flew away.

“Did you see that?” I shrieked. We stared at the sky in shock and disbelief. Walking over to me, he spoke words that honestly, there’s never a good time to hear.

“Honey, I want you to go inside and take a shower right now. You have remains in your hair.”

Noooooo!! The ground started to spin. Not. My. Hair. I ran upstairs to get in the shower, and I couldn’t even look in the mirror to see what the “remains” had done to my freshly groomed mane.

Reaching for the shampoo through my tears, I couldn’t help but ask God, “Why did this happen?”

This was no random accident. A carcass doesn’t hit you on the head every day. I knew it wasn’t random; my season of vultures had begun.

Not winter, spring, summer or fall. Of all the seasons I thought my life would have, the vulture season wasn’t one of them. If you were to ask my friends, they would tell you vultures were everywhere in my life. When I took road trips, they would just happen to be in the road eating something dead. If I were to go on a hike, they were there on the path. Even driving down Middle America streets on an everyday errand, they would be on the side of the road, gnawing their fresh prey.

These “random” sightings were infiltrating my life! Almost daily I would ask people, “Do you see vultures?” And of course, they would look at me strangely and say no.

I remembered that at the moment I was towel drying my hair (that had just had animal remains rinsed out of it), I had asked God for a reason. I knew this intrusion, this carcass, had a purpose. It was time I knew what the purpose was.

Since then, I have spent a great deal of time researching vultures which gave me some interesting information. While vultures eat mostly dead animals, they desire to attack the weak, sick, wounded, dying and dead. Ah-ha. I didn’t need to be hit on the head again. That sounded like direct symbolism for Satan. Like a visit to the eye doctor, my life began to come into focus.

My entire state of existence on planet earth seemed to be filled with those adjectives. I have been weak, sick, dead or dying, both physically and emotionally, in places on the inside. Hence the ginormous, black, flesh-eating birds showing themselves in my life, over and over. God wanted to wake me up to the fact that unless I dealt with my pain appropriately, it would continue. 

Very few of us get the help we need for the pain we go through. Maybe we even deny that the thing that caused us pain ever happened. When are we going to quit dressing up in our Sunday best, attending church, but never diving into real healing—because if we did, people might know we need help? That we’re messed up?

Wait. You mean Christians need help?

Yes. And I was one of them.

I desired to fully comprehend why God kept bringing this issue of dead things up in my life. Please God, no more carcasses. (Those are words I never thought I’d string together.) I believe He wanted me to grasp that I needed His healing from the things that had caused me pain, from the death I was carrying inside of me. So like a diver at the Olympics, I dove straight into pursuing real, lasting healing.

I hope and pray that you can learn from my story and not have to experience vulture season for yourself. Seek healing and freedom for yourself today, take those dead places in your heart and mind and give them over to the Lord. Find a good Christian counselor and work through the hurts you’ve incurred or find honest accountability in a recovery program like Celebrate Recovery. You are called to be free and healed and the pursuit of healing is always a worthwhile one.