The twosome suddenly appeared on the grounds one day.
I’ve heard it said that geese, typically migrating in gaggles, never travel alone.
When one is old, tired, wounded or sick, and can’t keep up with the V, another goose will stay by its side until it either dies or can continue on its journey and be reunited with the group.
So when I first saw them a couple weeks ago, I thought one must be ailing and the other its protective caregiver.
They kept to one small area near the building for a few days then ventured a few yards across the property.
They lounged unbothered and serene. The residents were fascinated by them (especially since we had recently housed hatchlings inside).
A couple days ago they waddled their way to a puddle in the parking lot. When I caught sight of them drinking deep from the water I wanted to shoo them away, shouting; “Unclean, unclean!”
The water had the unreliable appearance of something good for them. It held all the qualities of something they should be able to trust as wholesome and life giving.
But looks are most often deceiving.
And things we count on to be good for us oftentimes are not.
That puddle was contaminated with a myriad of pollutants and toxins.
Thirsty, they were easily fooled and enticed by the unclean.
I immediately thought of the young, the naïve, the easily-duped. There is much in this saavy world that sports an illusion of good; convincing multitudes to drink…be refreshed…no harm.
“[Jesus] replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived.
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’
Do not follow them.’”
Yes, many have come and gone, spouting their wares, just as Jesus warned. And He taught us to be on our guard. Even John implored; “test the spirits.”
We are continually being lured by the seemingly harmless, only to find ourselves deceived . . . and worse.
As disheartening as it may be, there is still much that is praiseworthy—provided we are keen on the ways of the world and diligently teaching our kids to be shrewd and wise. They will be tempted with what seems common to man . . . only to find it isn’t good.
The geese are gone now. They’ve moved on, hopefully reunited with family where water runs cool and clean.
Grant us discernment, Lord. Discernment and courage.