Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Centre is located in both Mount Brydges, Ontario, and Regina, Saskatchewan. By the name I am sure you can deduce what they do. They rehabilitate all sorts of wild animals who need medical help… including mallard ducks.
A four years ago, a mallard ducking was brought in that needed care. This duckling undertook the same journey all of their orphaned mallards experience at the center. She was placed in an incubator to be kept warm, and then, after a little over a week, she moved into an outdoor flight pen along with her fellow ducklings. By mid-summer, she was flying on her own and able to take care of herself, but likely she stuck around until the end of the season before departing with her fellow mallards as they flew south for the winter. All of their duck patients have bands attached to the legs for possible future identification.
Here is where the story gets interesting…
Recently, “on an early spring morning earlier this year, Salthaven’s founder, Brian Salt, was surprised to discover a mother mallard duck waiting expectantly at the facility’s front door along with her entourage of 11 ducklings. When she didn’t gain access to the clinic, momma duck promptly led her brood straight into an empty flight pen located outside.”
“An inspection of the mother’s leg band not only identified her as the very same duckling that had grown up at Salthaven four summers ago, but also revealed that the pen she selected was the very same one in which she herself had been raised. The family has now been at the center for the last few weeks, during which time the babies have grown considerably and are mingling comfortably with more than 50 other young mallards being raised at Salthaven this summer.”
“This mother duck returned to Salthaven to raise her family in a place that she knew was safe and secure.”
I can’t help but think of God’s love. Our Heavenly Father invites us to return “home” and be lost in His love. God wants us to know that we are safe in Christ’s arms. His nailed scarred hands remind us of his care for us. Our home is with Christ and wherever we are loved by other Christians. By that definition, I have several homes! I am rich in love! Are you?
Consider these verses…
The everlasting God is your place of safety, and his arms will hold you up forever. Deuteronomy 33:27 (NCV)
Jesus said,“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Jesus is waiting for all to return home (Luke 15) to find peace of mind and a love that will sustain us throughout our lives and into eternity. The momma duck figured out where home is… why do we find it so hard?