Intersection of Life and Faith

The Weak Duck: A Single Mom’s Easter Lesson

  • Dawn Walker Founder and Director, Single Parent Missions
  • 2014 17 Apr
The Weak Duck: A Single Mom’s Easter Lesson

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27, NIV).

As I was driving to church Sunday morning, myself and several other drivers had to stop in the middle of a busy four-lane road because a line of ducks was crossing. As I watched them waddle across the road in an efficient little line, I noticed that there was a straggler. The last duck was hobbling awkwardly, trying to keep up with the others but unable to do so. There was clearly something wrong with one of his legs. As he got further and further behind and seemed to be trying harder and harder to overcome his handicap, my eyes just filled with tears and I started crying.

I could relate. As a single mom, many days I feel just like that little duck; giving it my all and just seeing the gap widen, holding up traffic and inconveniencing people because of my situation, and scared to death that I’m getting left behind in hostile territory. Just a week ago I sat around a lunch table at “Eat lunch with your kids” day at my son’s school and listened to all the other moms talking about where their families were going for spring break…a resort in Mexico, a cruise, Disneyland. I couldn’t even compete. I had no vacation fund and would be alone while my son went to spend the entire break with his father in another state.

As I was near to hyperventilating over this duck, I felt God speak to me. Which one of those ducks do you think I care about the most? Which one is touching everyone’s heart with a glimpse of My Son Jesus as he scorns his shame and courageously presses on in his mission?

That made me cry even more. I think what God meant to show me was that all the parts of my life as a single parent that I consider weakness and feel ashamed of or like I need to hurry up and fix, he doesn’t want me to fix. In fact, as I trust him and press on in my ‘handicapped’ state, I can actually bring him more glory and draw more people to him than I would if I went and found a nice husband and a comfortable house in the suburbs.

I suddenly realized that my tears for this duck were not tears of pity, but tears of inspiration. God does choose the weak things of this world—to disarm the strong, to bring hope to the broken, and to reveal his own vulnerable heart. Why else would he send his only Son in the form of an illegitimate child who was born in a barn, had to flee as a refugee, was homeless during his entire ministry, got betrayed by his close friend, and was crucified by the people who should have loved him most? And then why would he follow it up with the Resurrection? Talk about the great reversal of shame and weakness!

Happily, this weak little duck did make it safely across the road and was reunited with his duck-friends on the other side. And I made it to church with only slightly puffy eyes and a heart that was full and bursting to worship my God whose glory shines through and overcomes every weakness.

Dawn Walker is a single mom and lives with her 10-year-old son in Grand Rapids, MI. She is the Founder and Director of Single Parent Missions, a ministry dedicated to raising up single parent families to transform generations. She is also a speaker and works with churches to envision and equip them for effective single parent ministry. To subscribe to her daily “Hope Notes” for single parents, visit