I saw a scene today that will stick with me for a while… Very sad.
Earlier this morning I was driving with my brother to see my little sister’s ice skating competition (pictures to follow soonly). On Golf road as we turned to get some breakfast, I saw a goose standing in the middle of the street, hardly moving. I was unsure why it was just standing there in the middle of a highway, making no attempt to cross to the other side, odd.
Then I saw why.
In the left turn lane there was the reason for the goose’s hesitation: another goose, apparently ran over by a car. The body was just laying there in the left turn lane, feathers spread all over the place.
The second goose was standing there waiting for the other to move, to continue their journey across the road, maybe to swim in the near-by pond in front of the hospital. Of course, I will never know where they were off to, but there stood the goose ever still, waiting for some sign of life from the other, perhaps not understanding the scene in front of him (I of course am not able to truly identify the gender of either goose, therefore I default to the standard masculine forms).
We went through the drive through and as we pulled out to continue our journey, the scene was much the same. Another vehicle stopped and removed the dead goose from the middle of the road, but the other was still there. At this point however it seems as though that goose had come to terms with the fate of the other and had now squatted down in the same place he stood ten minuted prior, though now with his head tucked into his body, unable to move in the face of tragedy.
And I can’t help but make this more than a story about a goose that got hit by a car, for there was clearly emotion in the lack of motion of the living goose.
I can’t help but think of this same occurrence that happens thousands of times every day in different parts of the world as loved ones, friends or acquaintances are suddenly ripped off the face of the world without warning.
I can’t help but think of the scene in Genesis where Able is slain by his brother Cain; I imagine their horror, disbelief or their lack of understanding in the fact that a son and brother would no longer get up and finish the walk across the street.
I can’t help but think of that day when in the garden, Adam and Eve made the choice to take a step away from their Creator; to see the pain and torment of loss that was sure to be felt by Yahweh, as his children choose certain eventual death over an eternity of community.
I couldn’t help but think of that short verse in John 11:35, simply “Jesus wept.” His friend Lazarus had died, this could have been Jesus’ first experience with the death of a close friend; Jesus reacted much like any one of us would when faced with the sudden loss…
We know of course as the story goes that Jesus was able to raise his friend from the dead, I remember first asking that if he knew Lazarus was just going to be raised from the dead, why did Jesus bother crying about it? It seems likely that he was so knocked off his feet by his loss that he was unable to move, like the goose. There was nothing for him to do in that instant but stand there, waiting for his friend, unsure of what would happen next.
But as Jesus called for his friend, trusting that his Father had heard his prayers and his laments; sure enough, out came Lazarus.
Of course, we do not have that ability to simply call our lost ones back from the dead, rather this story gives us hope that life does go on; Jesus’ ministry continued, Adam and Eve had more children and God still cared and kept his promises to his people.
These two geese, one no more, taught me a great deal today. I am forever grateful that I can move on to tell the fallen one’s story.