She keeps house in a very unlikely place. Tucked into a center island in a grocery store parking lot. I wonder at her housing choice every year. (She’s been there every spring- for the last few years.)
All around her, SUV’s battle over parking places. Shopping carts blow across the lot and ram into curbs and bumpers, like crazy land races, that end in tragedy….or at least in convenience. Dogs bark through cracked car windows… threatening to pounce at their first chance. (Why do people take their dogs to the grocery, then leave them in the car? I do not understand this… but I digress. Again. )
Teenaged boys in orange vests stretch the task of cart gathering into an all day event… even with the advent of motorized cart movers. They always look cold and forlorn…..and mostly bored. Crying children, in grocery cart seats squirm and make a last ditch effort to escape before arriving back at the car. (It’s an unwritten code of ehthics for toddlers… like the Marine’s “no man left behind”…..toddlers chant “No seat contains my behind” in baby talk as they wiggle.)
In the middle of this chaos, danger and intrigue….(At least I’m always intrigued by the people who actually leave the store carrying ONE lone item……usually beer or a tiny bag containing- I know not what….I think I am not so much intrigued as maybe jealous of their ability to actually purchase what they intended…. as I typically forget the ONE item most important on my list….;)
sits the momma duck , a top her nest.
Surrounding her are bits of popcorn and other treats people leave to help support her little family. The momma duck is a mascot of sorts for the store. The employees watch out for her. They share their lunches with her. In a way- I think they love her.
She, however- usually fluctuates between a threatening quack and serenely sitting with her eggs safely tucked beneath her and her head tucked under her wing.
During weeks like this one- I can relate to the momma duck. When news stories are filled with mass shootings- schools locked down and sad videos of sick people saying sick things….I feel like a momma duck in a parking lot. Danger seems to surround my little brood. I feel like tucking my guys into a safe spot in the middle of the chaos and quacking a warning to keep them safe. The problem is- two of my three “little ducks”are bigger than me. To try to protect them from the world would more than clip their wings…. it would stunt their growth. Then- I also feel a deep peace… A security that comes from trusting God. Like the duck- I fluctuate;)
So, what’s a mom to do? Gather them up and sit on them?— Quacking to keep them safe as I smother them with my love? My guys won’t tolerate that. Is it possible to rest securely while chaos reigns around us????
I think it is. When I look at the momma duck, with her head resting under her wing… while carts bump and bang and dogs bark, I wonder if she has some deep trusting (or deep birdness that prohibits worry;) that gives her peace.
Like I do. (Most of the time;) Although I see the chaos, danger and sadness that surrounds, I also know that I don’t control the world. Nor- do I have to. I trust that I do what I can and should do…..and that God will be with us in whatever we face.
What we can and should and actually, do-
1) Have an emergency contact means and plan- (my teens have cell phones) they know who to call if they see danger brewing. Be aware of your child’s school lock-down policy and procedure.
2) We talked about what to do if they are concerned about a kid at school…..talk to their guidance counselor or other school official- in private.
3) Trust God with the rest.
The first two are fairly simple— the third is harder- it’s a process of trusting. The more I experience God- the greater my trust grows. Honestly- it’s the hardest things that I’ve gotten through, that have grown my trust the most. Loss, pain, struggle, grief… while initially negative—have turned into greater faith, because God has brought me (my friends and family) through them.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus Christ
Maybe it’s like that with the duck— maybe she can stay in a place of danger- and thrive—- because of the love that is there with her, in it. If a grocery stores employees can care for and love a duck… how much more can God care for and love us? Even in a dangerous and painful world.
Dear Lord- I don’t pretend to understand all the chaos and pain that fills the world. I pray that you’ll be with and comfort all those who have had such loss this week. I pray for the survivors- that you’ll give them peace in a fearful situation, I pray for the families that you’ll give them comfort in their pain. I pray for the family of the one who cause such pain….God- I pray for mom’s everywhere- that feel like ducks nesting in dangerous parking lots— that you’ll grow our trust, make us wise as to what we can and should do…..and give us the peace that you alone can give- regardless of what happens around or to us— In Jesus Name- amen-
With prayers for the Virginia Tech survivors- families and friends of those lost.
Knitnana has the button…