Vol.X No.VIII Pg.2
October 1973

Luther's Goose

Dan S. Shipley

Wildlife has no better friend than our brother Luther Baker, well-known and respected in these parts as a self-taught naturalist. Among the objects of his beneficence are the thousands of wild ducks and geese that make Luthers pond their fall stop-over for rest and refreshments. Where else could a travel-weary and gun-shy goose find such accommodations? In addition to the ponds relative safety, Luther sprinkles its surface with store bought grain often enough to tempt the shyest of hungry birds. Youd think such a fowl-haven would soon be filled with permanent boarders, but the wild birds soon get itchy wings and move on, leaving the little oasis to Luthers small flock of domesticated ducks and geese.

All move on, that is, except this one Canadian goose who, a few years back, apparently decided that integration was better than migration. A decision that was, no doubt, influenced by an injured wing. So Lessie, as Luther calls her, stayed on even if with reluctance at first. By the time her wing healed, Lessie was on pretty good quacking terms with the little flock of strangers she had once avoided. Flights of wild birds still come and go, but Lessie stays— now as much at home with the tame as once with the wild; now a friend to strangers and a stranger to friends. Like Luthers goose, Christians are apt to light among strangers and circumstances that could hinder their heavenward journey. Not that necessary associations with the ungodly are wrong (1 Cor. 5:10), but even these can easily become unnecessary but desirable alliances to tempt and weaken Gods people. Through persistent and indiscriminate mixing with the ungodly (including the moral ungodly), the once-reluctant saint comes to feel more at home where he shouldnt. Gradually, but surely, the words and examples of worldly associates exert their weakening influence. Getting along in this crowd is no problem— so long as you leave spiritual values and subjects at home; so long as you dont let your light shine (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:15).

Meanwhile, having made friends with such strangers, the Christian Lessie now becomes as a stranger to his godly friends. He may tolerate, but does not appreciate their warnings of concern and is likely to be critical of Gods people while defending Satans. Such has been the end of many good brethren who ignored Gods warning: Be not deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33, NASV). Lets learn a lesson from Lessie!