Be Kind to Your Web-footed Friends
I woke up on Saturday morning with Stars and Stripes Forever stuck in my head. That immediately reminded me of a record full of silly songs I had as a kid. One of them was set to the same tune, and it was called Be Kind to Your Web-footed Friends. So I started singing it, much to the consternation of my cats. I got this far: “Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck may be somebody’s mother.”
I stopped. That’s not the reason to be kind to a duck. The reason to be kind to a duck is because it’s a living being and is independently deserving of dignity. If the duck had no progeny, she would still be worthy of our kindness.
At church, so often people say things along the lines of “Of course women are important! They’re our wives and mothers. They raise the next generation.” The subtext of that is that because I am no one’s wife and no one’s mother, I must not be important. Be kind; a duck may be somebody’s mother.
I matter and am deserving of kindness because I’m created by God in His image. I will not become more important if I have children. The worth of every soul is already infinite.
When Jesus preached a sermon, a woman in the crowd responded: “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.”
Jesus replied: “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
Mary wasn’t praiseworthy because she gave birth to Jesus. She was praiseworthy because she kept the word of God.
While our relationships with other people are important, they are not the only thing about us that matters. Even someone alone on a desert island without another human soul in sight is still precious to God.
I would re-write the song like this: “Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck is a living being.” Luke 11:27-28