Monday, February 17, 2014

When You're Alone

The whole earth is at rest and quiet;

They break forth into singing.

Isaiah 14:7

The last day of duck hunting is over and 100 Acre Cove is quiet, serene. 

No gunshots, no wounds, no fear. And the Cove laughs, rejoices again. 

I rejoice. 

Tired of hearing the gunshots early every morning. Tired of wondering how many gentle, innocent ducks were slaughtered for sport, for pleasure.

In the new earth there will be no more death, and no more fear, and no more wounding of another living thing for pleasure's sake alone--not for food to feed a family, but because of blood-lust and slaughter for slaughter's sake. 

100 Acre Cove is silent. Peace and grace to my soul; creation laughs and sings.

Another day. 

My Mama stands by the side of the water and feeds her ducks, feeds them while the cold, aching wind whips her hair and her old faded coat. 

And she smiles with pleasure. 

She buys big bags of whole corn, which she says will "keep them warm." 

She feeds the sweet wild ducks and the farm ducks that some cold person "dumped" here, and she smiles and she worries over whether they have all gotten enough and how much longer the winter will be and when "they" will prohibit the feeding of ducks. 

And she throws the corn and the ducks come and they eat and are kept alive for one more day. 

Talk about the eco-system and the balance of life and death and the ducks becoming dependent. 

And we have built so many houses and crushed so much of their territory, is it really a big deal if my Mom keeps some helpless ducks alive? 

I'm not going to stop her. 

 And there is one duck who hobbles over to her, hungrier than the rest, with a broken wing that healed improperly. 

One lonely duck, making her way through life, trying to eat enough corn to survive, pitiful and helpless, totally dependent. 

Some people would say to let that duck die--would I?

Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from My notice . . . 

And some of our brothers and sisters are like that duck and I watch my Mom feeding the friendless broken bird and think of what she said to me--

"It's different when you're alone . . . " 

And some people are like that lonely duck, all by itself, a broken wing that will never lift it up in flight again, and totally dependent upon the mercy of someone to take pity upon it. 

It's different when you're alone.  

Grace and peace be theirs in abundance . . . 

There is a woman I know who lost her husband to cancer and she stills wears her wedding ring and she smiles joy and she sings in the choir and she serves. But it is different when you're alone. 

And she is freer than others to serve the Lord and she does with a beautiful heart and a kind smile and a sensitivity born out of loss. 

It's different when you're alone. 

And they are a little nearer to Jesus because nothing comes in between. 

He is their Portion and their Keeper.

The sweet ducks chase the corn over the ice and the broken-winged duck struggles to keep  up. 

My Mom's corn is her mercy. 

And there are no more gunshots to fear. 

None now; none in the new earth. 

Praise Jesus. 

He prayeth well
Who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best
Who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God 
Who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

--Samuel Taylor Coleridege
(from The Ancient Mariner)


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