The story of Duck (A.K.A. Charlie, Toko, Gerald, Humphrey Rutherford, Rubba, Donald O’Connor, Downy, Percival, Darkwing, Fluffy)

“Um, hey mom?”  I asked, hoping I didn’t sound too suspicious.

“Yeeaaah?”  I could tell from the tone in her voice that I wasn’t doing that great of a job.

“So, um, how do you feel about ducks?”

“Why?”

To tell you the truth, my mom had every right to be apprehensive.  She knows me.

“Well, I mean, I kind of have a duck right now, and I’m bringing it home with me.”  I continued to tell my story very rapidly, so she wouldn’t have any opportunity to stop me (but I will take a little more time now, for the sake of understandability).

I had been working on the Ryde On staff at a Bible camp that week.  Ryde On is an action sports apparel company (http://www.rydeonsports.com/) that was in charge of the water sports.  I got to work on the lake all week, tubing kids from 10 in the morning to 5 at night, and selling shirts at all other times.  Got sun poisoning, stepped on what looked to be a hatpin (that went 1/4 inch into my foot), rubbed all the skin off my elbows, lived in a wet bathing suit, helped on the boat, helped in the water, helped on the boat again (let me tell you, my hair looked fabulous), and was able to minister to several campers.  It was awesome.

On the last day, our staff was down at the lake, cleaning and packing up.  Deflating tubes, tearing down the bench and the life jacket rack, getting random odds and ends of first-aid and sunscreen put up, things like that.  All the campers had already left, and a new group of kids had come in to use the facility, but we weren’t a part of that camp.

I was drying off (for what I hoped to be the last time), looked up, and saw some of the camp staff coming down to the water.  I went over to them to ask what they wanted, and in one girl’s hands was a tiny duckling.  (My brain went “Aaaaawwwww!”  So did my mouth.)  As it turns out, some of the kids had found him wandering around in the parking lot and brought him to the staff.  They thought “Hey, he’s a duck.  Let’s go put him in the lake.”  He was still downy and very new, not more than a day or two old (he still had his egg tooth), and if they’d put him in the water he would have drowned.  If they just left him by the edge something would have eaten him.

They were all leaving and didn’t know what to do with him.  So I, being me, said I’d take him.  I was not too upset about it, because I love cute and cuddly, and I was prepping to go into veterinary medicine before God called me into ministry (a story for another day).  I got him a box, filled it with paper towels, and held on to him for the rest of the day.

That night when we went to eat, I knew I couldn’t leave him in our dorm.  If he stayed in the air conditioning he’d get too cold, and I didn’t have a heat lamp or hot water bottle with me (I know, right!  I should start carrying one in my purse…), so I took him with us.  I emptied my sister’s makeup bag, filled it with paper towels, and kept my hand in there to keep him warm.  Yes, I took a duck to Applebee’s.  Bragging rights, okay!  The other staff kept quacking at me throughout the meal…it’s a wonder the waitress didn’t abandon us for more normal customers!

As it turns out, I had a little wood duck.  Apparently it’s a FEDERAL OFFENCE to keep them as pets, but Mom still let me bring the little guy home, and keep him until I found a wildlife rehabilitator in our area.  Because she’s awesome like that.  The duck (who had so many name suggestions at this point that I just called him “Duck”) went to a rehab farm not too long after I got home, and I’m convinced that he will live out his days with other wood ducks, happy and free.

Right when I’d first gotten Duck and was still packing up at camp, the leader of our Ryde On crew asked me a question.  He said “If that duck was sitting under that bush there, and  you didn’t even know he existed, would you trust God to take care of him?”  I replied that of course I would.  He then asked me why I didn’t stick the duck under the bush right then, and trust God to protect it.  I told him that maybe God had taken care of the duck by bringing him to me.  After all, those staff could have gone anywhere on the lake to drown the poor helpless thing, but they came right to where I was.

Still, it made me think.  What had I changed by saving that duck’s life?  Had I ended world hunger?  Was there peace in the Middle East?  No and no, unfortunately.  All I had done was help a duckling live a little longer.  What’s the significance in that?

Just the week before all this happened, I’d been at Fuge (where awesome things happen), and the speaker was talking about the Butterfly Effect.  If you don’t know what that is, (in rough terms) it’s a mathematical theory that states when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world, it could cause a tornado on a totally different continent.  Basically – EVERYTHING WE DO HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THE WORLD.  Nothing is insignificant.

Wait a second.  Nothing is insignificant?  What about the children dying of hunger all over the world?  What can they possibly be doing to effect us here?  Could one baby that has only lived a few hours change the course of the world?

How about you?  How important are you on the scale of things?  Are you popular?  Does anyone even notice you?  Maybe you are famous, and people listen when you have something to say.  Or maybe no one hears you at all.  Do you matter?

And what about me?  I post on this blog fairly regularly, pouring out my heart and soul.  Every time I hit the “publish” button I’m hoping and praying that someone, somewhere, will be impacted by what I’ve written.  I have a total of five readers (among those are my mom’s parents, my sister, and my mom), but if I’ve touched something in the heart of even one person, haven’t I made a difference?

We go through life trying desperately to be noticed, to somehow impact the people around us.  Often times we feel that our efforts go unnoticed entirely.  Yet, if you smile at someone passing you on the sidewalk and make their day, haven’t you already made a change?  Doesn’t that make you just as important as the top movie stars?  Even if we go through life doing nothing, are we ever truly unknown?

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

A Day in the Life of Me

I am super special.  And amazing.  And talented.

(For those of you wondering, what I just said was TOTAL sarcasm.  Read on to find out why.)

Just in the last week and a half I have injured myself in way too many major ways.  I slipped in a creek and fell on one knee, on a rock, with my full weight.  I slammed my hip into the corner of a counter.  I sliced the front of my leg on a rabbit cage.  I bludgeoned my toe with a block of ice, effectively flattening it.  And just as my knee was recovering, I hit it on the corner of the coffee table.  Needless to say, it hurt to walk.

I do not usually admit to being clumsy or accident prone (and usually I’m not).  But this was just about the most painful week I’ve experienced in a long time.  And then things got really interesting.

You know that “game” where you jump into a pool, and someone throws you a ball in midair?  (I can already see you imagining what horrible thing I managed to do to myself here).  I was at a youth pool party on Sunday, and my dad was throwing a football to some of the guys.  So I went up on the diving board for my turn.  Despite what you may be thinking, I’m actually pretty good at throwing and catching footballs.  Not good for a girl.  Good for anyone.

I was all set to show off my skills, and God was like “Haha, no.”  You know that whole, “pride before a fall” thing?  Yeah.

All set, I jumped out over the pool.  I saw the ball coming right to me.  The perfect throw.  All I had to do was keep my hands open to receive it.  Guess what I didn’t do.  The ball hit my pinkie, ring, and middle fingers of my right hand.  Directly on the tips.

I went underwater and thought “Ow, that feels jammed.”  After resurfacing I grabbed the ball, swam to the side, and threw it to my dad.  For the record, it was a perfect spiral and landed right in his hands.  I had no time to feel pride over my perfect throw, however, because my fingers felt like they were broken.

As it turns out they weren’t all broken.  Just one of them.  Having only been in the pool for about ten minutes, and not wanting to leave yet, I packed my hand in ice and stayed for the rest of the afternoon.  I did splint my finger that night, but didn’t go to the doctor until the next day.  He then referred my to an orthopedic specialist.  It was there that I learned the amount of damage I’d caused.  Seriously, I didn’t think it was that bad because I didn’t get hit that hard.  I was wrong.

Turns out, I fractured the bone severely and partially tore the tendon from the bone.  This is a condition known as “mallet finger”.  In most cases it never fully heals properly, and the end of the finger is permanently crooked.

The instant I heard this the girly girl in me blanched.  She thought Oh no!  An irreversible deformity?  What guy could ever love a girl with a mallet finger?!  Yes, I do have one of “those” inside me, but I usually drown her with logic and reason.  Which is what I did in this case.

I realized that this is something a lot of girls struggle with.  How could a guy be attracted to you if you are overweight?  Or have cancer?  Or a prosthetic?  Or a birthmark?  Or a mallet finger?

Well if he doesn’t, THAT’S HIS LOSS.  If he’s not man enough to accept you despite your faults, no, if he doesn’t love you for them, he is not worthy of you.  There are too many girls who settle for the guy willing to overlook “defects” in order to get what he wants.  I am not one of them.  Mallet finger and all.

Not many guys will admit it, but they have their things too.  I know guys are supposed to like their scars as proof of “man cards” or whatever, but even males are susceptible to insecurities.  For all the dudes reading this, you know what you hate about yourself.  But someone out there loves it.  So think twice before you try to hide/remove/despise it.

As it turns out, if I wear this specialized brace for ten weeks, there’s a good chance that I’ll make a full recovery and regain full function in my finger.  If it happens that I’m stuck with a mallet finger for the rest of my life I know that the people around me will love me anyway.

Because if they don’t, it’s their problem.

A Soul-Searching Contemplation

I love my brain.  Okay, so at times it does cause me to do really dumb things (like shove my foot so far into my mouth I can scratch my stomach with my toes), I’ll admit that.  At this moment it’s not doing anything stupid, although some would argue that me blogging isn’t exactly the smartest…  We’ll just go with me loving it.

How can I love something that dictates so many unwise things, you ask?  Many reasons (actually).  Today one in particular is standing out.  Allow me to elaborate.

My mind has this wonderful gift of retaining words.  Right now my favorites are dubious, façade, phenomenal, putrid, and one that I’m quite good at applying –adoxography (“Skilled writing on an unimportant subject”).  On a side note, my sister’s favorite word is sesquipedalian (“Characterized by the use of long words”).

These interesting combinations of letters may get temporarily lost amongst the jumble of everyday life, yet they have a way of resurfacing at interesting times.  While talking to my mom earlier, I tried to give her a picture of the mood I was in.  I was attempting to capture the bone-crushing exhaustion and inertia I was experiencing, and the words insatiable lethargy popped into my head.

It made me pause.  Is that an accurate description?  Or an oxymoron?  It is by definition a “Lack of energy” that “Cannot be satisfied or appeased; that always craves for more”.  Something that is all-consuming yet lacks motivation?  Is it even possible?

After much reflection, dictionary reference, psychoanalysis, and a little orange juice, I came to several conclusions.  The first is that deep thought with an addled brain is never safe.  Smoke may or may not be wafting from my ears at this moment.

The other is that anything can take over our lives if we let it.  Escapism, apathy, and indifference (while seemingly mild and not concerning) are the most poisonous of all.  Revelation 3:16 says of us “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

But how in the world am I supposed to fight my lethargy?  We are encouraged to be fervent in spirit and serve the Lord, instead of being slothful in zeal (Romans 12:11).  Also, we are to watch and pray so that we don’t fall into temptation (Mark 14:38).

I don’t know about you, but I have a sudden urge to be on my knees!  I’m not particularly fond of being vomited out of Jesus’ mouth, and I’d much rather be serving Him!

So this is what I get for having a brain full of words that come and go as they will.  And this is what you get for reading all about it!  But if God is glorified through my random ramblings, that is enough for me.

Until my brain is recharged,

Fairlight Maiden

/sīˈkädik/

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