Father Goose

Water has been a fairly constant presence in our marriage, from living in our first home together on Waterview and then moving to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, where we were within walking distance and/or sight of water. Now even living in land-locked Colorado, God somehow managed to gift us with this amazing piece of land that has a pond. Our first house on the property had a lovely view of the water, but our current home on the property actually has a kitchen sink that faces the water.

So I hardly ever take my eyes off the glittering blue. Especially when I’m doing dishes. When we enjoy our meals together, my eyes glance among my husband, these two precious gifts of children that God is letting us enjoy on earth, and the world surrounding our water. And what a world it is!

It truly never ceases to amaze me how many surprises we are awed by each coming week or month. There is always something new to discover, always something new to explore. Just this summer alone, we have watched a mother Mallard care for her two new ducklings. We have watched a mama Scaled Quail lead her dozen little babes all over our backyard. The kids have discovered, captured, played with, and organized races with the two different types of snakes that are of abundance in the pond: Lined Snakes and Plains Garter Snakes. One day on a walk we took the time to examine as best we could the hanging bird nests we’ve noticed in the past and then God delighted us with directing one of the birds to perch at the top of the humongous Cottonwood and sing us his incredible song. We recorded it and raced home to do some research, finally realizing that these birds, which are always too high up for us to see clearly, are indeed Bullock Orioles. They are the designers and manufacturers of those incredible hanging nests. We identified two new types of shore birds enjoying the banks near our water: the American Avocet and the Wilson’s Phalarope. We also had a visit from a Double Crested Cormorant, which we haven’t seen in a couple years. What magnificent birds!! The swallows have swarmed like normal this spring and early summer, but this year they chose our ideally-suited stucco home to build their mud nests. If you’ve never watched a bird build her nest, stop what you’re doing right now and put that on your bucket list. It is truly a wonder…watching them collect pieces of mud, one tiny clump at a time and build these magnificent pieces of architecture to house their eggs and babies. These have been the new surprises of our summer. This is not to mention the beauties that we are used to: the brilliant golden current blossoming like rays of sunshine throughout the property, the cattails springing up like green shoots, the killdeer running around the shores with their loud chatters and pronouncements, the red-winged blackbirds singing and soaring. The herons swooping in and gracefully adorning the water. The pelicans, in all of their elegance, swimming and feasting. The turtle the kids found while kayaking confirming to us we do have life again in the pond. The baby tiger salamander they found, although it was dead, was like a whispered promise from God: “See? I will restore life here though there was drought and death.” The many minnows swimming confirm the same thing. The sunsets revealing God’s heart for beauty. The mountains declaring the glory of God and the strength of His might and our promise that “those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion. They shall not be moved” (Psalm 125).

But, despite all of those wonders, one new surprise God brought to our waters at the end of spring was a goose nest. We have Canada Geese that frequent our Back Forty, but a walk in mid-May revealed to us that a pair of Canada Geese had chosen the banks of our pond as the birth place of their goslings. We discovered the mama sitting on her brood of 5 large eggs, the father dutifully nearby lest anyone try to disturb her. Even as we neared the mama, the father began swimming towards the bank to protect her. We stayed a good distance away, but he was on the shore in no time, ready to fight and defend. Over the next few days we watched closely until one day we saw the two proud parents swimming with four tiny, yellow goslings between them. A walk out to the nest a couple days later confirmed that one of the eggs did not hatch. But over the past couple of months, we have watched this sweet little family grow up and thus, even from my kitchen sink, I find myself marveling at God’s good created order and plan.

The mother goose, the father goose standing guard, and the egg that didn’t survive.

And here is the unfortunate truth of it: this father goose is a truer father than most human dads. He did not abandon his mate nor his offspring. He counts his offspring as worth defending, even while still yet within their egg casings. Because God gave even an animal such as this the instinct to recognize the value and worth of his offspring. God gave even an animal such as this the instincts to reflect His good created order, to recognize that children are a blessing from God. Even an animal such as this will stand by night and day to guard his wife and his children. And that is far more than we can say for many of the American people right now.

Knowing their goslings would not be able to fly for some time, they chose a nesting ground near water to protect them. Any sign of danger sends them scurrying into the water, the father always last to fend off the foe and ensure his family is safe. Day after day we have watched this precious family grow and enjoy each other while the parents faithfully guard and protect their children at all costs. The children are obedient to their parents. They know the safest place for them to be is with their parents, under their umbrella of authority and protection, not off finding their own independence and deciding for themselves what they think is best. The gosling does not say to his father, “I think I am actually a squirrel. Therefore, I will remain on land and climb trees.” He trusts his father to tell him who he is and therefore how he should grow into an adult Canada Goose who will know how to act, perform and behave as God intended. But even if he did say something that absurd to his father, I am confident that this dad, whom I’ve watched intently over the last three months, would tell him the truth. “Son, you are not a squirrel. You are a gosling whose wings do not work yet. You need warmth, protection, direction and guidance from your mother and me. If you go live on land, that coyote we’ve seen wandering around every few days will find you and eat you. You will die. Trust us as your parents; we will tell you the truth.”

No, there is no rebellion or mistrust from these goslings. There is no ignorance on the part of the parents. Each day as they go for a swim, the mama leads, all four goslings swim behind her in a perfectly straight row, and the father follows behind watching for danger. They know they are safe in their parents’ protection because these parents know it is their responsibility to guard and protect their offspring. They do not neglect their duties in order to give their children a “freedom” that will lead to their sure demise. They do not neglect their duties in the name of “love” but rather have taken up their God-given responsibilities to protect, provide, teach and guide.

In the upper left photo, you can see both parents telling my kids, who are nearby on the shore, who is boss. In the bottom two photos you can also see the Mama Mallard and her two baby ducklings joining the party.

Every single day for the past three months, we have watched this sweet little family go for walks. And it is the same every single time: the mother and the goslings peck and search for food while the father, on the other hand, never eats. No, his head is never down in the dirt. His head remains high up and alert at the end of his straight neck, searching constantly for danger. He is always on the lookout.

Upper left: the father shepherds his family into the water as we were, apparently, too close. The goslings are getting bigger and looking more like their parents every day! Bottom photo: You can see three of the goslings resting, the mother and another gosling eating, and the father on alert as usual.

One day they were taking a family walk near our home. As usual, the children stayed within a few feet of their parents, modeling their mother’s behavior of pecking diligently in the ground to seek nourishment. We decided to go out there and try to get a little closer to observe them. My darling Selah, who sometimes has the habit of acting without thinking through the consequences, decided to charge the geese. I still, to this day, after many thorough discussions, have absolutely NO idea what was going through her head. The plan was to gently and slowly approach, showing we were no threat, just to try to observe. But as Elliott and I gingerly approached the family, Selah came charging from behind us towards the family, yelling a war cry. Of course, the goslings and the mother quickly began to run towards the lake, but not the dad. That father, knowing his duty to protect his family, instead charged at Selah. Though he didn’t exactly “attack” her, he certainly let her know who was boss. He spread his expansive wings, showing off his 6 foot wing span, and flew up onto her back as she tried to—wisely—run away. He squawked and yelled and warned her to never charge his family again. Because HE is their protector, and like all Canada Geese fathers, he will NEVER abandon his children.

Yes, Selah and I have had lengthy discussions since that day regarding her reckless behavior, but that’s not the point of this reflection. The point is, during a time where my heart is, really, overcome with sorrow at the horrific state of our nation’s fathers, God has given me this beautiful reminder that His created order, though decaying because of sin, will not be destroyed forever. In a time where fathers, in particular, have fully abandoned their responsibilities of being a father, I still have the unwavering hope that our Heavenly Father has never and will never abandon His children. This Father Goose will guard his goslings when threatened by an enemy, even to the death. We live in a time where human fathers think the enemy is their child, and it is by the father’s own hand the child dies. We live in a time where if, somehow, by the grace of God the baby escapes his mother’s womb alive, he will enter a world where organizations are fighting to BREAK APART the family model, REDEFINE the family model and then FABRICATE lies about that child’s identity. All of these things will surely lead to the destruction of families, children and the next generation, save the redemption of Christ. It is crystal clear observing these geese: If a gosling would have strayed from his father’s protection, he quickly would have been put to death by the many predators surrounding the lake. If the father had not remained to protect, lead and guide, the goslings would have surely died. The family unit, according to God’s design, brings protection, stability, and clarity for the goslings’ lives and futures.

The last time we saw Father Goose and his family, the day before they flew away.

I awoke one morning this week to see two Canada Geese flying away. We have been watching the parents give “flight lessons” to their goslings for the past couple of weeks, but in the past three months the parents have not flown at all, other than from one side of the lake to the other for the purpose of instruction. But that morning, the two flew AWAY. The other four were nowhere to be seen and we haven’t seen them since. What a beautiful thing God allowed us to witness this summer. A growing family, submitted to God’s order in His good creation, made it. They made it. The goslings graduated and get to repeat the lessons they’ve learned from their faithful father to the next generation of geese.

Oh God, have mercy! Have mercy on us humans who have become “so wise” in our own eyes! So wise, that we think our ways are higher than yours. Have mercy on the father who did not turn to your ways, who did not guard and protect his daughter, who did not tell her the Truth, who allowed her to “find herself” and “follow her heart” straight into the bed of an evil and wicked man who gave her his seed for his own pleasure, only to destroy her and destroy it. Have mercy on this new father who has not only recklessly abandoned the woman who is with child because of him by fornication, but who is advocating for his own offspring’s death. And Lord, have mercy on the woman who has a baby in her womb and paints the words “not yet human” on her almost-full term swollen abdomen. This is a woman who can FEEL the movements of the life within her, who is even holding life within her arms, and yet has blinded her eyes to reality for the sake of “freedom.” Have mercy on the people who advocate for the “right” of abortion, as if murder of the innocent could ever, ever, EVER be justified by the ignorance of fathers, who for generations have neglected their role as CHILD OF GOD, HUSBAND and FATHER. Who for generations have neglected their Maker and all of his ways.

I cannot pray, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” because they DO know. Every pro choice person knows exactly what he or she is doing when they vote to legalize the mass slaughter of innocent children. Though they try to justify it through ridiculous lies, even my 9 year old recognizes, “Mama, how could they say a baby in the womb isn’t alive? We all know that anything that’s growing is living. The baby can’t be dead and then suddenly alive once it’s birthed!” Out of the mouths of babes.

But, even though they are well aware of what they are doing, I do pray for God to forgive them…while simultaneously praying for His justice to come. I pray for their eyes to be opened to the reality of truth and for God to have mercy on their souls despite their unwillingness to have mercy upon the lives of the unborn. May God give them the grace to repent.

The guilt of the murder of each of the SIXTY THREE MILLION babies is on all of our hands. As a nation we have strayed so far from God’s truth. In our homes and schools and churches, we have strayed so far from God’s truth. We must pray, repent, and speak truth, even if it kills us. We MUST “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8-9). And we must teach our children the Truth, despite loud voices trying to convince them otherwise.

You may not have a kitchen sink that faces the water. But you have all of creation at your fingertips and even the rocks will cry out to tell the truth. Will you?

Friends, remember Father Goose. And remember that the One who created you will give you wisdom and truth if only you will ask for it. Speak up, fellow believers, speak up. And pray for the unrighteous to stop “stopping their eyes and ears” and turn towards truth. Pray for the unrighteous to seek first the kingdom of God, rather than their own wicked desires, and to find wisdom at its source: through the fear of the Lord, not through the “social justice” created by man’s foolishness. Pray for them to repent.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything (Ecclesiastes 11:5).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:18-22).

“This is my Father’s world! O let me ne’er forget,

That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world! The Battle is not done;

Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one!”

The (double) promise He set in the sky over our property last month.

The rainbow, and all of creation, belong to Him. And He who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).


  1. Bravo, Susanne, beautifully expressed!!
    We too experience the wonder of Him through the animals on our 28- acre mountain. We don’t have a pond, but we do have a sweet waterfall where they all go to drink. Their instinctive behaviors are a never-ending joy to observe!
    Love & God Bless,
    A. Adele & U. Serge xxxooo

  2. Devastating truth. There are mysteries that we cannot know, but this is not one of them. All of nature, even our own natures, tell us clearly to LOVE our children, and not to kill them. This kind of blindness has to be achieved with effort.

    Thank you, Susanne.

  3. Susanne, this is beautifully and truthfully written. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. The thief cometh not, but to steal, kill and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10. Dear God, open our eyes and show us our wicked ways so that we will repent of our sin and turn to you the giver of eternal LIFE!

  4. Thank you Susanne. This is beautifully and truthfully written. Oh, that God would open our eyes to see the true giver of life. The thief cometh not, but to steal, kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

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