10 Ducklings: A Lesson in Wisdom


Every once in a while ordinary things become extraordinary. While out to buy new walking shoes, my wife and I stopped at a gas station on the way home. There was a mother duck and one baby duck. I was remarking how sad that was because it meant that she lost the others. Then the one baby disappeared into the grate it was walking over. The mother’s distress became apparent then. I jumped out of the car, ran over to the grates, and lifted them off. The rescue of ten ducklings followed shortly.

My first thought was how stupid the poor mother duck was. Then it occurred to me that there was nothing wrong with the duck. Those grates were made by human hands and human minds too focused on other things to make grates that baby ducklings could not fall through. How foolishly self-focused we human beings can be!

Now I think about Wisdom – God’s first act of creation – hovering over creation’s waters and crying out in the marketplace, at the crossroads, and at the gates, and I wonder who is listening to her. The news I’ve seen recently would say that there are few who hear her sacred words. There are better things to worry about than which bathroom any particular person chooses to use or the sexual orientation of one’s clergy person. The sheer numbers of people who respond to the fear-mongering balderdash of a certain presidential candidate indicates the inability to hear the beautiful, though often challenging words of Wisdom. It seems that some people are quite content to let ducklings fall through grates and then blame the ducks rather than save the ducklings and fix the grates.

During this season of Pentecost may we open our ears and our hearts to Wisdom. She knows the depths and what powerful gifts may rise from them. She knows the heights and what transforming joy may live there. She knows the human capacity for folly and for genius. She has walked the earth since before time was counted. We would do well to listen to her. Perhaps when we do, we can save more than ducklings.

RCL – Year C – Trinity Sunday, First Sunday after Pentecost – May 22, 2016
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

Photo CC-BY-NC by Erika Sanborne

About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now to order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (http://amzn.to/2DZ55EU).
This entry was posted in Musings, Sermon Starter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 10 Ducklings: A Lesson in Wisdom

  1. Chan says:

    Wisdom, As elusive as tomorrow, older than time, dancing with the human mind.
    I seek you , I love you, and believe your promise to life.

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