A Humbling Lesson I Learned From Some Geese

“Who knew watching gesse could bring so much joy.” Once those words left the preacher’s lips I was immediately hit with guilt.

That statement may take a little bit of explaining.

At the church we attend in Hannibal, Missouri there is a pond out front. It is pretty well maintained and has inspired a few sunrise photos taken from my phone.

(I think they pictures are pretty inspiringanyway, although a bit grainy.)

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Earlier this year a mother goose came on by and decided this little pond was a great location to have some babies. She probably got a decent deal on the location.

Actually it turns out she did because she and her family were getting a free contenintal breakfast with their stay. Thethe goose family started to be fed by the church and they decided to stick around all summer up until a few weeks ago.

(At the time this was written they had gone. They have since returned.)

People seemed to love these geese and for the life of me I could not (cannot) understand why. I have come to the conclusion I seem to have an unhealthy hatred for geese.

They started leaving their droppings all over the parking lot. It is difficult enough to keep my sons from jumping in puddles on a rainy day. Now I have to actively tell each one to keep out of the poop as well (you’d think I would only have to say it once since they were all standing together but apparently the instruction only applies to one child at a time).

Other than the droppings I’m not sure why I find geese to be so appalling, but I do. They are disgusting and ugly birds. They can be aggressive and downright mean.

Perhaps it traces back to my grandmother telling me a story about how she once was bitten by a goose.

Whatever the reason I was genuinely put off by the presence of the geese around and nothing was changing my mind.

That is, nothing was changing it until our preacher spoke those words at the end of his sermon.

“Who knew watching geese could bring so much joy.”

Our preacher was recounting a day when he and his wife were sitting in the church parking lot watching the geese going about their business. They sat there for almost an hour watching and finding joy in the moments while they watched.

It hit me, could it be they needed this little bit of extra joy in their lives and God knew just the way to do it?

Could it be that the stresses of ministry mounted up? Perhaps there have been difficult moments within the family.

I was once in full time ministry and I remember what a burden it can be while dealing with struggles or personal issues and having to pretend with most people that everything is fine.

I do not know if any of these were currently taking place in our preacher’s life, but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

If that was the case maybe God provided these disgusting birds to bring joy to people who would appreciate them.

Maybe they were meant to be a gift and a blessing in the lives of someone who needed to see the beauty of them (something I still cannot see).

We do not know what objects or situations may bring joy to to the lives of others, even if they don’t to ours.

We do not always know what is going on in someone’s life. Everything can seem perfect while they are battling inner demons. Or maybe they are just having a down day.

How many times do we look at the interests of others and think, how can they like that? But we were all created as individuals and God provides for us in our times of need.

And for some what they need is joy.

And joy can come in gross, waddling, dirty birds.

Instead of spending our time ccomplaining about the geese in the lives of others, maybe we should be rejoicing with them in the little gifts God has provided.

You don’t always have to like the geese, but try to appreciate and encourage the joy of others.