You rarely see ducks alone. They spend their time together, doing what ducks do in the company of their own. I was in Highlands, NC one morning and it was cold. The wind was awful but it gave me an advantage in sneaking up on the different birds I was stalking. As I rounded the bend I saw these three ducks huddled together enjoying the warmth the brush provided from the chill. Just as I got into position, the female raised her head and noticed my presence. Strike out. She knew I was near and alerted the others. They were gone in a flash.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. —Ecclesiastes 4.9–12
We need each other, there’s no question. When we are connected to God and connected to others, we don’t have to do without. It’s the reason Christ came to be with us. It’s the reason God is Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). It’s the reason God gave the world the Church, a gift of his presence through community. We are the people of God—a community called to be in connection and accountability to God and one another. “No Man is an Island,” as Thomas Merton reminds us in his book of the same title. St. Paul reminds us,
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. —1 Corinthians 12.12 (NLT)
There is nothing we cannot accomplish if we live life together, especially in matters of faith. When hard times fall on us, the faith community is here to soften the blow. When temptations come around, Christian brothers and sisters are here to ward off the devil and strengthen the faith of the tempted. When our vision becomes clouded, the body of Christ provides guidance and clarity. Face it, we need each other.
The lady duck in the photo was there to help the others know when things were either safe or not safe. She was paying attention, watching over the others. And when the time came, she led them to a place that would be safe again. They found different brush, more warmth, and watched over each other again. May be we should act like ducks. But, in the meantime, pray for each other; meet each others needs; love one another and show the world that you are Christ’s disciples. Remember, we need each other because, “two are better than one.”
May it be so, O Lord.