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Compass Corner: Wounded Wing

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Wounded Wing

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Dear Compass Checkers,

You’re looking at a photo of a Mallard male duck that obviously has an injury to one of his wings. This duck cannot fly. I have seen him dozens of times over a period of three years along a creek and greenbelt where I walk.

In spite of a major injury, “Wounded Wing,” as I have named him, gets along just fine. When I first saw him I was certain he would die from the inability to fly. Not true. He is just as plump as the rest of the ducks. He can still walk, and he eats the grass along the greenbelt walkway. He dives into the creek for his favorite snack of moss. It’s just that he can no longer fly; but it’s okay. It would seem not all ducks have to fly to survive.

Wounded Wing’s restricted feeding area is around 150 yards by 40 yards, but this space provides all his needs: food, shelter, water and dozens of other ducks to quack with. Ducks may come and go, but not Wounded Wing. He has adjusted to a life of walking or floating to where he needs to go, and that has worked out pretty well so far for this gritty duck.

God’s creation, yes, His creatures, can teach us lessons. Here is one of them:

In one sense all of us are the walking wounded. We are all imperfect. We have all had emotional injuries, we may suffer from physical ailments of one kind of another, or we lack this or that. Our list of things we lack or things that are not going well is sometimes endless.

It’s easy to get down when we focus too much on our individual “wounded wing” list. When we do this it may cause us emotional or spiritual hurt, such as anxiousness, fear, isolation, self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, emotional paralysis, discouragement and stress.

Rather, we should seek to invest our faith and energies in God. Let’s not isolate ourselves because of fear, failure or any kind of wounded wing injury. We are privileged to serve a God who calls the wounded. Then He heals them and uses them to His glory. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Wounded Wing reminds me that God is in the business of mending broken wings. So whatever your “wounded wing” might be, ask your Heavenly Father to heal it and get you moving again.

Your camp friend,

Steve Nutzman, Editor | compasscheck@ucg.org