A few years ago on a spectacular spring morning, I had the marvelous blessing of watching right up close, (So close I could actually see what I could only describe as a mothers pride on her face.) a mother duck, with a large brood of little baby ducklings following behind her one by one, all in a line.
She was absolutely beautiful with the morning sun illuminating the iridescent colors of her feathers, so perfectly aligned on her body. She walked with absolute determination with her head held way up high looking steadfast at her goal, with her whole brood of billowy down covered chicks marching in a line right behind her. Each chick in its place one after the other with a discipline and loyalty to their mother’s will like few human parents will ever experience.
The wonder of God’s unlimited capacity and creative imagination was on full display this morning and I could only but marvel at the one who could ever have conceived of such beauty. In retrospect, every attempt of human creativity in all of the arts is only a reflection; someone’s interpretation of what God has already created. No sound in music that God hasn’t already created in nature somewhere, no color on the painter’s pallet that God hasn’t used in his own creative expression.
As spectacular as this sight of innocence in nature and beauty was; No matter what pleasure and joy of what I was seeing with my own eyes there might have been, should have been; there was one overriding overwhelming set of emotions of PANIC, Desperation and Anguish. It wasn’t about the Duck and ducklings in and of themselves; they were beautiful. It was about where they were.
On this wonderful morning of this spectacular day I was exactly where I am most every morning at 7:00AM. In my car, speeding down the highway on my way to my place of employment, with my mind self consumed with the prospective drudgeries of the day.
Cresting over a hill around a corner, my heart skipped a beat; I tapped the break, swerved hard and fast into the left lane and just managed to maneuver my car from running full speed into the family of ducks. As I sped by I flashed the headlights and laid full into the car horn hoping to scare the mother and ducklings into running back to safety on the side of the road. No chance… She was completely un-daunted from her quest to get her brood across the highway. I quickly glanced into my rear-view mirror only to see what I knew I would see. Just seconds behind me were two full lanes of cars bearing down on what was an inevitable fate for that poor creature and her little ducklings.
In just one instant, all that innocence, all that beauty, all that revelation of the wonder of the creative hand of God; tragically and terribly gone.
I didn’t look; I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to know. If I didn’t see it happen, maybe I could tell myself it didn’t happen. I willed myself to believe that somehow they all escaped their unimaginable fate. To this day, through years long past it still effects me as though it just happened seconds ago.
It strikes me that I can be so troubled, so disturbed so pierced to the core of my heart even to tears, all these years later, about this inevitable fate of this innocent wild creature and all her ducklings.
But what disturbs and troubles me far more than the depth of my compassion and sensitivity for these innocent creatures is my lack of the same intensity of compassion and caring towards many of my fellow men.
It’s not that I am uncaring, or insensitive… I am compassionate. I am sensitive. I am caring. At least I try to be. I definitely do have areas of more intense emotional commitment and involvement towards certain demographics. My heart does go out to the specific struggles of children and young adults as they face the trials and struggles of life; but whose doesn’t? I do try to put my life in deeds and effort to do something, to have my feelings and words be more than just a clanging gong and clashing symbol.
But I must confess,,, there could be more.
Moreover,,, I am shocked at the degree of de-sensitizing that has occurred in my heart at the pain and suffering of the many people that cross the pages and airwaves of our news media. Each day the radio and TV bombard our lives with the tragedies and suffering of so many people in my community and around the world.
The world today is madness, and there doesn’t seem to be a voice of reason that can rise above to sounds of insanity. I really do fret about the kind of world my children and grandchildren are going to be living in. There is far more evidence of social, moral and spiritual devolution, than there is of a rising tide of civil evolution.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
How pitiful the tally of those I have managed to bring into the fold. Oh for the joy to look back at the last 40 years of my own Christianity and levy a count of at least one saved soul per year. How empty and disappointing will the words echo in my ears…. “Well done my good and faithful servant. YOU made it.”
. We have to do more. Even now, in writing this message, Its not enough for me just to flash the headlights lights, and lean full on the horn to try to cause my fellow man to turn back from the path of inevitable eternal destruction. We have to care enough to be moved into action. We don’t have to try to save the world; but we should try to disciple at least a few each.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.””
My friends, I am truly afraid that this may be the last harvest of the season,
Ask the Lord of the harvest,