The Long Introduction

For not the first time, I reduced my sister to tears.

There are too many ducks. In specific, too many male ducks.

They will have to be gotten rid of, the way one has to get rid of ducks.

My head can rationalize it a million different ways. I know the abuse that happens when these things aren’t in balance; I know I’m doing them no favors to keep them this way. And I can rationalize about bodies of water, and rationalize about cramped quarters during the winter, and rationalize about food bills, and I can rationalize about more ducks next year, in the form of ducklings. I can even be grateful that God made male animals more fit for food; one has to eat, and leaving behind the females means the flock continues to grow. Certainly a recommended 1 male to 5 female ratio makes for a fairly good provision of food, and clearly there will plenty left to continue reproducing.

But the “mom” in me cries out with her. They’re all individual, unique, irreplaceable. Save them all, love them all, raise them all.

This is no one time burden. Ducklings next year? Maybe. Hopefully. How many do you suppose will be male? More must die.

So you decide to go like Cain, and just do vegetables.

Today I started clearing out my garden. It was doing beautifully, and then the rainy season hit. With one accord, every plant became diseased. The garden melted; the fruit rotted. There I was, pulling my hard, tender work out of the ground with the stench of death in my nose. I filled wheelbarrows full of labor that never achieved the fullness of its life.

Can anything be done that avoids the shadow of death? It is though our every step is a reminder that we, too, will someday come to know death. For now we are merely beginning the long introduction.

What depth of faith is required to believe that there is something stronger than death.

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