Love gives ALL
One day last year, I spent a refreshing morning at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. I was on a mission. To uncover the perfect spot for a Christian Writers' picnic. I caught up with a fellow writer there and we found a lovely area for our picnic, replete with green grass, trees and serenity. We then sat by the beautiful lake and discussed some practicalities.
On my way out later, I stumbled upon a pretty picture. There in front of me walked a family of ducks. Daddy Duck, Mummy Duck and 12 new born baby ducks. What a precious picture of life and family. I had to take a picture of them. I followed the duck family as they waddled their way forward. But then… before I knew what hit me, I was attacked. The Mother Duck put her head down and charged me. Ooops! That was a first. Have you ever been charged by an enraged Mother Duck?
I was at first very surprised. Then slightly alarmed. It was obvious she meant business. You can laugh if you like, but you know what? I ran. I ran away. Fast. I chuckle now remembering. But I did NOT want to cross swords with a Mother Duck protecting her young. She was intent on harming me if I got in the way.
After she was convinced that I was not pursuing them, she waddled back to her family giving me a number of warning glares. She squashed me a little but not totally. I stayed some distance away. After she waddled away, I slowly inched my way forward – one centimeter at a time. I didn’t dare get close to them. I knew what would ensue if I did. I stood a fair bit away and took a picture with my phone. I gazed fondly at the little fluff balls, wishing I could hold them in my hand. I sent the picture to my husband. ‘Wow! I didn’t know Ducks could be aggressive’ he responded. I texted back ‘Mama ducks obviously can be when their babies are around’. Shan agreed.
That Mother Duck taught me something. Here I was – this enormous hulking human being. There she was. A little duck. And yet – she was on the ball. She did all she could in order to protect her young. So fierce that I didn’t stay to argue with her. She protected her family very well. She loved. And her love showed. In fierce deliberate action.
It’s Easter. Thank you God!
We celebrate the day when history turned itself around. When love came down to conquer the world. To overcome sin and death. To bring us life in all its fullness. You know, there was something very touching that day when a little duck was intent on protecting her brood at risk to herself. She was smaller than I. I could have hurt her.
Jesus came to earth not as the King of the Universe in all His pomp and glory though he could have. Not with a million angels and majestic trumpets thundering out a loud message to us. No, he came as a tiny vulnerable human baby. He didn’t demand His rights as He could have. Instead he died a horrible death on a cross. He allowed himself to be beaten and scourged and spat upon. What prompted him? Love. Yes, agape love was behind that cross.
This Easter, as we ponder on the significance of what Jesus did – I pray that it will spur us too to act as He did. Not demanding our rights. Not demanding all that is ours. Instead being humble and obedient to our Father’s will. In order to save mankind. Not that you and I are called to save mankind of course. That’s God’s work. But God does have a purpose for each of us in hastening "His kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven." Have you discovered what that purpose is? Have you surrendered all your plans to His? Have you stepped forward in faith like that mother duck – ready to do what’s necessary simply because of your love? Your love for Jesus. And your love for His world.
May the love that brought us Easter propel us on, to give of ourselves for the world Jesus came to save. And may we bring many others to the foot of the cross. To enjoy our Father’s heart of love as we are all created for and to bask in His warm beautiful Presence.
“God our Saviour wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.” 1 Timothy 1:4, 5
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16