I was really disappointed in myself the other day. Me, the "people person" who can't stand the thought of one human being going to hell, and it being the drive that makes me able to give everything up and move my four young children away from all grandparents, cousins, and family to raise them in a different way than most of the planet...walked to the neighborhood pond to feed the neighborhood ducks. These are actually two white ducks who stay here year 'round and the neighborhood people all sort of look after them; including feeding them bread, and dog and cat food. Well, following the true sentiment of Charlotte Mason homeschooling, I try to take my kids on walks to look and talk about nature everyday if possible.
The other day we were walking toward the pond and I saw something I had never seen before. There were two teenage girls swimming in the pond, and one laying out beside the pond in a swim suit. First I thought that was very strange because I didn't know anybody who swam in that pond and thought there was probably a good reason. There is also a sign that says "No Tresspasing", which everyone knows is there to keep riff raff away. I then saw what looked like two younger brothers throwing rocks in the water and pestering and teasing each other and the girls.
As we got closer to the pond I noticed the ducks waddling fast along the shore, going in and out of the water like they couldn't figure out what to do. I then realized these boys were throwing rocks at "our" ducks. I watched for a minute and when I knew that that's what they were doing, I raised my voice so they could hear me across the way and told them not to throw rocks at the ducks. I think I actually had to tell them two times.
My children and I proceeded to get our bread out and feed the ducks as these two girls got out of the water, joined their friend who had been laying out, in gathering their things and their brothers and slowly walked near us to get out to the road to go home.
As I stood there with a little bit of satisfaction in my heart for defending "our" ducks, I don't know that God actually spoke to me, but a sadness came over me as I realized I cared more about those ducks than I did about meeting and loving on those kids with a conversation. I began to replay the scenario in my head that I went over and struck up a conversation with the girls and spoke a few words to the boys and showed them how hundreds of fish and a few turtles would come up if you threw bread in the water, knowing that I could have most likely won them over because that's just who God created me to be as a people person.
As I watched them walk away, they didn't go to any of the homes they were walking toward, but started walking down the street to the local rundown trailer park where there are known drugs and animal abuse. I can't tell you how sad I am now to think about how little I thought of them and their destiny.
Lord, help me not to look at the outward appearance, but to see every single person that ever crosses my path as a life You created and loved so much you died for. Help me to get over my own agenda if you have another plan for that moment that will plant a seed for someone to come into your kingdom. Father, I thank you that you did not see me as "riff raff", but came to me and found a way to my heart so that I have spent most of my life saved from so much heartache because I heard about you and wanted to follow you. Forgive me father, and I pray I have a different story next time a similar situation happens.