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  • Writer's pictureSue Roberts

A Goose Encounter

The Canada goose approached and stood in front of me, his leathery webbed feet nearly touching the tips of my sneakers. He stood motionless, staring with beady black eyes. His gurgling sounds seemed to replicate communication. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and tensed, thinking he might attack. He didn’t. He just stood there staring and I stared back. After a few moments I relaxed. It didn’t appear I would be bit.

I had been sitting on a park bench by a lake, contemplating a Bible verse I had been given. As part of an exercise, my seminary class was to practice silence and listening to God. My verse was “Come my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11). I thought about fearing God: acknowledging His presence and greatness and submitting to Him in humility and service. That’s when the goose showed up.

After a few minutes, the goose slowly lifted his wings. One was badly broken. I think he was telling me to have pity on him and feed him, or to fix his brokenness. I just sat there, until he finally waddled away. I drew a sharp breath and exhaled slowly, looking up. I gazed across the lake, watching as bikers, joggers and walkers moved along a path. God spoke: “Many of my children are broken. Feed them. Attend to their brokenness.”

“My people are broken—shattered!—and they put on Band-Aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’”! (Jeremiah 6:14 MSG).

When we returned to the classroom for a debriefing, we told our stories. The professor said that I was a gifted writer and needed to use this gift to help His broken people. What gifts have you been given? How can you be an agent for healing? Perhaps it is prayer, listening, kind deeds or words, or speaking the truth of the gospel. Jesus is what they need and we have that answer to share. Don’t be afraid of getting bit. It is with God’s power and guidance that we prevail. Step out in faith and do the work of the Lord.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”(Isaiah 6:8).

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