“Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” Luke 6:21b
They came to spend the evening with me at my campsite by the river. I was so glad they came. My twenty-year-old son and my seventeen-year-old daughter joined me on their dad’s birthday. We shared supper together, and then walked along the river. They skipped stones. I watched. We spoke some, but mostly we just quietly enjoyed each other’s company--and remembered the one who was missing.
The evening was much too hot for a fire, but we started one anyway. As we toasted marshmallows for s’mores I kept thinking about how their dad would make them laugh. Surely if he was here he would be teasing and they would be laughing. I really couldn’t think of anything funny. Besides, when I try to tease, my children tend to knit their brows with “what’s-wrong-with-Mom” kind of looks.
Bless the ducks God sent. I didn’t even notice them peacefully sleeping on the river bank, with their heads tucked under their wings. But when they heard the crackle of cracker wrappers, their heads popped up and the family of ten ducks waddled our way.
Have you ever seen a duck stand on tip-toe? Have you ever watched three ducks standing side-by-side moving their heads in circles as a bite of cracker moves around and around in the hand of a teenager? Soon I heard something wonderful: the pretty laugh of my daughter and soft chuckles from my son. And as I watched my children make the ducks dance for their dinner, I rejoiced in the laughter a family of ducks brought to our sad little family on a day when we were missing someone’s laughter.