When I was four months pregnant with my son, Isaiah, I went to visit my grandparents’ home. They live off of a busy street, which is known for its speedy travelers. As I exited my car, I noticed something moving along the side of the road. Curious to see what brave yet foolish creature it was, I walked toward the road. I saw a duck.
Meeting the Mallard
It was a Mallard duck with an injured wing, and he was wandering much too close to the road. Concerned for the duck, I slowly walked closer to him. I wanted to steer him away from the road. The closer I got to him, however, the farther he went onto the road.
It was sprinkling outside and I had just gotten my hair done. Nevertheless, my only concern was for the poor animal. The duck reached the middle of the road. I noticed that cars were quickly approaching. So, I took it upon myself to wave the traffic to a stop and proceeded to herd the duck off the road.
The drivers seemed amused, but the duck was not. He scurried off the road and waddled into the neighbor’s yard. I could have left him there, but I knew if I did he would most likely find himself right back in the road again. He was oblivious to the danger around him.
I chased after him, but he was one speedy duck! He zigged and zagged, and darted and dodged me. Finally, he seemed to slow down a bit, apparently tired from all the running. But now he was headed toward a ditch, and I knew I wouldn’t get to him in time. It was only a matter of seconds before he fell into the watery trench. Sure enough, a few moments later, down he went.
The stubborn duck tumbled down into the ditch, and with a splat he landed feet first into some fresh mud. I stood above him and watched him for a minute. He was struggling to free himself from his muddy prison, only to find that the harder he fought, the deeper into the mud he got. Eventually. he became still, submitting to the fact that he was indeed stuck. No matter how hard he quacked and squirmed, he was one stuck duck.
The duck in his helpless condition moved my heart with compassion. Paying no mind to my new chunky-heeled boots, I plopped myself into the muck and tossed my jacket over the frightened duck. I slowly picked up the now-trembling duck.
With the tenderness of a new mother, I whispered to the duck, “Hush, everything will be okay. You are in my hands now.”
The rain now pouring, I crossed the road back to my grandparents’ home. Once inside, I called the local animal shelter only to find they were closed for the evening. My grandfather told me to just leave the duck outside to fend for himself, but I felt he would fair just fine as a guest in my apartment. So, I packed him up in soft towels for the ride to my place. I decided to name him Mally, and it suited him well.
The Mally Analogy
I tended to Mally all night; I fed him, changed his paper (which he dirtied very quickly), and even gave him a swim in my tub. The next day I tearfully brought him to Angels of Animals. (Being pregnant, I was emotionally sensitive.) They said he was about a year old and that his wing was injured, but nothing too serious. Though not mine any longer, I knew he was in good hands.
Learning Personal Lessons
As I spent time with the Lord that night, He revealed to me a different outlook on what took place the day before with dear Mally. Sometimes God uses everyday events in our lives to illustrate something we need to grasp. I thought about how I found Mally and how his rescue unfolded. This time, however, I was the duck, and God was the concerned observer.
In Mally’s Place
There I saw myself, wounded, wandering, and unaware of so much. The Lord, moved with compassion for my need, comes to my deliverance, but the closer He tries to get to me, the farther I run from Him. Just like how only I noticed the cars racing toward Mally, God sees what lies ahead for me. Still, I keep on running.
Zigging and zagging, darting and dodging, I run with my ways. My flapping arms and yapping tongue don’t scare God because He is steadfast and stirred with unending love. I come to the ditch’s edge and down I go. Tumbling, tumbling, tumbling into a pit of mud. I squirm and struggle, trying to break myself free from my muddy prison. The harder I fight, the more deeply I sink.
My distress breaking His heart, the Lord watches me. He’s always by my side, though I am often unaware of His constant presence. He is God and can save me at any moment. However, He waits until the moment comes when I stop fighting, when I stop trying to be my own god, and when I stop trying to win my own battles.
Once exhaustion settles in, I submit to my helplessness with a sigh of defeat. It is at that moment that He swoops down into the mucky ditch to save me.
The Lord as My Rescue
I believe that sometimes the Lord lifts up from the mire, and sometimes He seems to just silently accompany through a situation. Either way, it doesn’t matter to Him if I am covered with filth, of that if have little to give Him in return. He doesn’t want my garments or possessions. What He wants is me.
It’s kind of like I’m blindfolded; I cannot see where the Lord is taking me next. I can either choose to struggle against Him, or I can find rest in His arms and have faith that He is taking me to safety. Though others may think I should be left to fend for myself, He tenderly picks me up and holds me close to His heart.
His voice gently whispers, “Hush, everything will be okay. You are in My hands now.”
In Real Life
In my opinion, nothing can test the heart like the journey of adoption. Whether an adoptive parent, adoptee, birth parent, or other member of the adoption triad, walking the road to or from the adoption choice is not an easy pass. There may be times when we feel hurt, deceived, or like we have been left to fend for ourselves. We may even find ourselves stuck in a metaphorical ditch, with no hope in site.
I know for myself that during times when my grief over my daughter’s placement is too much for me to bear alone, He swoops down and carries me on.
After all, His eyes are always upon the sparrows—and that goes for ducks as well.