The Words of the Gray Family

A True Testimony for True Day of All Things

Julian Gray

Our Day of All Things in 1986 began with disaster. Our fundraising team was in rural northern Scotland, selling pictures in the coastal villages and small towns. We had not long since started off, and I think before the first intrepid fundraiser was dropped off in his village, when a duck flew out of a grassy bank beside the road in front of our van. We struck her (for it was indeed a female mallard) hard and she crashed into the opposite verge. Although we were a crack, highly disciplined fundraising force, we were as one horrified by this dreadful start to a holy day that had been consecrated to honor and celebrate life. Worse, as our team naturalist pointed out while we sadly stroked the plumage of the dead duck, it was probably not merely a female duck we had slaughtered, but a mother duck.

True it was, alas, and we had only to look a few yards down the hedgerow to come across the seven or eight tiny, fluffy ducklings who still did not know they were orphans. It seemed their mother, upon hearing the van approaching on the quiet country lane, had flown out to distract whatever predator it might be away from her young ones, and sacrificed her life.

Well, as team leader I was trained to think in a ruthless, military, mission-conscious manner J, knowing our crucial purpose to serve the providence. Despite all that training, however, my soft heart won over as usual and we gathered the tiny fluffy balls of ducklings into a cardboard box and put them in the van. I had no idea what I was going to do with them.

As the day progressed, and members came and went from the van, the situation got more and more desperate: the ducklings easily escaped from their box and made their way all over the van - into the picnic box, onto my shoulder, onto the dashboard and under the pedals. It was a miracle none was injured. I was worried that the members would rapidly conclude I that if I could not take care of a few birds I certainly could not properly organize a team of human beings. Then, finally, a Day of All Things miracle occurred (without which you can be sure I would never have written this down!).

One team sister asked me to take her back to a small country house with the van to show some more product to the owners. When we carried the product round the back of the house, there, behind the building, was the answer to my heartfelt pleas before heaven. A man-made duck pond, and an enclosure filled with ducks, geese and chickens covered a large portion of the lawn. I immediately mentioned to the house owner that we had another kind of product in the van, one that moved and chirped. He expressed curiosity. Within the twinkling of an eye we had done the deal. They got a nice set of framed prints for their home at a moderate discount, plus eight free ducklings to be adopted and cared for in their little children's zoo.

And so we felt that God helped us honor the sacrifice of one mother duck who died on Creation Day to teach us the greatness of His love for all things. 

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