This was a day my nine-year-old son, Luke, had dreamed of for weeks. We had moved out into the country two months earlier and Luke was impatient for some kind of farm animal. His five brothers and sisters were mildly interested in the ducklings, but not like Luke was.
Never content just to watch critters, he held them securely and talked softly, each one relaxed in this hand until he slowly put it down and lifted another. Luke never left the brood except to eat dinner.
As the sun began to set, Luke steered his ducklings into the garden for a snack of grasshoppers. He accidentally stepped into their huddle and scattered them. The other ducks drew back together, but Quacks scampered off behind a storage chest in the garage and disappeared. He had fallen down a small drainage pipe. The opening was golf ball-sized.
"Is there anything we can do?" Luke asked doubtfully.
"I can't think of anything," I told him helplessly.
"That's what I thought," he said and sadly. "And he was my favorite one, too — Quacks."
There were still eleven ducklings left, but the little lost one broke our hearts. The parable of the Good Shepherd suddenly took on a new relevance. When I awoke to his peeps early the next morning, I wondered how long before lack of food and water would finally quiet him.
"Food," I thought. "That's it!" Luke was just coming out of his room. "Luke," I whispered, "I have an idea. What if you tied a grasshopper to the end of a fishing line? If Quacks is hungry enough, maybe he'll bite it and you can pull him up." I admitted I had no idea if he could survive swallowing the fishing line.
"It's worth a try," Luke said, bounding out the door. He returned a short time later.
"Mom," Luke called excitedly. "Can you pray? Quacks bites the grasshopper but when I pull up the line, he lets go."
I sat down in the living room and prayed for God to guide Quacks up out of the hole. In minutes, Luke returned with a big smile and a little duckling.
"He bit the grasshopper and I was able to pull him all the way up," he explained breathlessly. "When I grabbed him, he just let the grasshopper drop out of his mouth."
By now the other kids were coming downstairs so we filled them in on the rescue. "Didn't you all think it was impossible that we'd ever see Quacks again?" I asked.
The kids looked surprised. "I knew God could do anything so I prayed to Him last night to save Quacks," seven-year-old Tyler said, nonchalantly.
"That's what I did too," agreed Luke.
I was really impressed. Their faith had no limits. If God could save wayward souls that fall through the cracks, how could I have doubted that He would be willing to save a lost little duck.
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