Author Reflections – Sometimes you’re a Duck
The female mallard duck landed in the middle of the prison yard and splashed around in a large puddle. Nearby, a small group of inmates paused on the track to watch the duck. After a moment, the duck took flight, flew away until she was just a dot, then began to fly back toward the perimeter fence. Apparently, the prison puddle was the best puddle around. But this mallard was flying too low. She hit a top coil of razor wire and went down in a tangle. The inmates watched for a few more seconds, but the duck was out of sight, hopelessly lost.
Many of you know of my prison ministry. I witnessed the above scene on a prison yard early this year. So disturbed by what I had seen, I thought about it for several weeks. What did it mean? Such a sad event had to have an application; something I could offer the prisoners that sought meaning as well.
I sought God for an answer. Why was I so affected by a dead duck? Four words came to mind: “Sometimes you’re a duck.”
When life seems to be going our way, we feel just fine flying solo. We test the limits of what we know are gray areas, but sin is black and white before God. We tempt the consequences of sin by flying into dangerous areas. The water feels good. Splashing around can’t be that bad, right?
Then we find ourselves in flight, but we return to what seems familiar and feels right. The problem is, we’ve been desensitized to the danger, and we fly into razor wire. And since we’ve been flying solo without the advice of wiser fliers, we’re alone on the ground, out of reach from anyone who might help us.
I’ve been a duck a few times in my life. Everything felt nice until God wanted to get my attention—or I was drowning in my own self-will. Suddenly, the puddle I thought was so refreshing and liberating was just full of mud. Can you relate?
I’m so thankful for the Lord’s hand of mercy when He shows us a way out of that mud. I want to share this freedom in Christ with these prisoners behind the walls of wire. No one has to be a dead duck.
See you in the field.
Click on this link to read my previous Author Reflections titled, How to Gain Perspective on Natural Disasters. Visit this next link for the first in a three part Author Reflection Series titled, Middle East Revolution, Part I – Our Definition of Freedom.