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by Bro. Clifford Hurst

1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417

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At first I was so engrossed in my phone call I did not grasp what was going on with those black splotches skipping up and down and back and forth on the edges of my peripheral vision. I had pulled over into a parking lot because of the seriousness of the call. Absorbed in the conversation, I did not realize what was going on just feet from my vehicle. The black splotches, it turns out, were two crows. As I turned and focused on them, it still didn't occur to me what was happening. They were doing a type of dance: Cawing loudly, they each took a turn leaping in the air a few inches high, briefly fluttering their wings to hover momentarily or to arrest their upwards launch. Then, they would land and quickly stroll back near where their weird dance began. I heard him before I saw him: My fixation on the crows was broken by a loud hissing like a tractor tire with a huge leak. I jerked my head in its direction several yards away from the crows. Rushing towards them in a waddling run with his neck stretched parallel with the ground and his mouth wide open was an angry Canadian gander. As he streaked towards the crows his movement somehow reminded me of a horizontal kamikaze; his hissing, of the warning of a rattler about to strike. As intended, he sounded irate and dangerous. I subconsciously began to realize what was going on and jerked my head the other direction to look on the other side of the crows. It was then I saw her, and she was hissing too, but not moving. The commercial zones in the southern parts of our metropolis have been inundated with Canadian geese. I have seen their nests within feet of a major box store's door. This parking lot had those elongated, curbed, landscaped dividers to mark its lanes. There on one of those medians a goose sat on her nest. It was all clear then: The crows were after the goose's eggs and had been harassing mom to try to get her to leave the nest to chase them. The gander had been some distance away and came blitzing towards them to rescue his family. I immediately thought of the all-out attack of evil upon home and family, an attack intent on seizing and destroying our children. I know the goose's eggs at this early time of spring were no doubt unhatched. Yet, the eggs are still a bird's offspring. The alarming thing about this all-out attack of evil to destroy our children is that too many, even Christian parents, do not seem to notice or, worse, to be alarmed by it. The crows of evil are coming at children from media, internet, peers, popular music, governmental edicts, social restructuring, and on and on. Too many Christian parents, too many Churches, either acquiesce to the encroachment of evil upon our youth or even embrace what is destroying them. I could not keep from thinking these may not have the sense God gave a goose. They allow into their home and children's lives the very things of this evil world that will destroy their children. At least the goose, when his offspring was in danger, immediately moved to protect them, hissing his protest, and targeting the source. What if we so reacted to any and every danger of evil invading our homes? The crows were unrelenting. They would only be chased a few feet away and then would immediately renew their attack. As long as I watched, they kept trying to get at the eggs. The geese had to be just as persistent in driving off the attack. And they were. The cacophony of the hissing and honking of the geese was harsh, grating, and even unpleasant, but it kept driving away the crows. The righteous parent's instruction and the preacher's warning words in his messages may to the cold heart or the backslidden youth seem just as unpleasant. If only those who reject the warnings would see that the crows are attacking and realize that it's time to have the sense God gave a goose.

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