I don't usually think of a bird as something that I would feel safe and protected under! When the Psalmist used the analogy of finding refuge "under his wings," that always sounded a little weak to me.
A while back we were with some friends at a restaurant in Pretoria called "The Blue Crane." We sat on a deck overlooking a pond with a number of birds. I heard the blue crane before I saw it.......a very loud squawking noise.......and then it swooped down. Its body was large, not huge, but its wing span was HUGE. I didn't run out with my tape measure, but my guess would be 2-3 yards/meters across.
This large, yes it was a blue/gray color, bird was watching out for and protecting a female that was nesting. It was making lots of noise and flying down in attack at any other bird that got near the nest. Its sole mission seemed to be to scare away predators. One look at those huge wings coming in, and the other birds and ground animals took off. Because of those large wings, as it flew it also cast a large shadow on the ground blocking out the bright mid-day sun.
The verses from Psalm 91 took on new meaning and significance with this very visual application of the promises written there. You could see, and thus feel, the sense of protection. It brought home a fresh reality of our protection under HIS wings and in HIS shadow. I know right where I want to be!
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty.......under his wings you will find refuge." Psalm 91:1, 4