“But the Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” Psalm 94:22
They stood on a small island of stones in a shallow part of the river, two pairs of geese, preening their pinions. Again and again one of them dipped gracefully into the river water, then stretched to flap her large wings, scattering droplets of water to sparkle in the morning sun.
As I watched, a lone duck came swimming toward them, the only duck I could see on the wide expanse of river. She swam toward the rock island, but as she neared it, one of the Canadian geese flapped his mighty wings in a bold, barring way. The little duck turned and swam away.
My heart went out to the little duck; I identified with her. “It’s a couple’s world,” I was told by another widow soon after I became one. It looked to me like the lonely little duck was discovering that verity as well. (I’ve been told these geese mate for life and I assumed these were two “married” couples.)
The lonely little duck swam out into the river. She stopped and began dipping and flapping just as the goose had done. She didn’t let the goosey rebuff stop her from doing things that needed to be done. Later I noticed a group of geese had gathered on the small rock island. Again the duck swam toward them. They were all busily preening and this time she was allowed to join them. Still later I noted the geese swimming in a row downriver. Meanwhile, the little duck rested comfortably and alone in the sun on the island of rock.
And I, on a swaying glider by the river’s edge, learned a lesson from the duck.
Dear Lord, help me to rest in the warmth of Your kind care even when I live lonely in a world of couples.