The Shadow, The Duck, And The Dane

Brian Jakowski
Reconstructing Christianity Together
3 min readFeb 28, 2023


Brad R. on Unsplash

In 2011, our mission base was in Maués, a backwater town of Brazil’s Amazon.

Our house quickly became a zoo.

There was a Cutia, think tailess squirel. Three Parrots, Arny the Armadillo, 16 chickens, a goose or two, and some quail.

There was also an Amazonian duck, Jekinha, and our Great Dane, Shield.

Jekinha was totally codependent on Shield and followed her everywhere.

If a stray dog entered the yard, Jekinha quacked frantically as she ran and stood under Shield, her refuge.

Feeling safe, Jekinha would turn and quack defiantly at the intruder.

This is a beautiful illustration of how God becomes our refuge when we reverently dwell in His shadow and make Him our fortress.

Fear Of The Lord Means To Reverence Him

Jekinha wasn’t scared to run to our Great Dane, but the invading dog froze, terrified of Shield.

Why did Jekinha seek refuge in what the intruder feared?

Because Jekinha knew Shield, she knew she’d be safe in Shields shadow.

Conversely, the intruder saw a dangerous foe and froze. That’s worldly fear.

Jekinha’s response is an example of fearing or

reverencing the Lord. Yes, she knew her protector was possibly dangerous. But,

Jekinha also knew her protector well enough to feel absolutely secure in her shadow.

In our faith lives, fearing or reverencing Lord means recognizing Him as the creator God while taking time to know Him as your daddy and friend.

C.S. Louis Put it this way in the Chronicles of Narnia,

Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you…”

Proverbs put it like this,

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for their children, it will be a refuge.

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:26–27

We’re Under A Better Covenant

On this side of the cross, our ransom and penalty were paid by Jesus’ death.

The Veil of the temple tore (Matt. 27:51) from the top (heaven) to the bottom (earth), meaning the way is now open to come into God’s presence without fear.

Because of the cross, we can make God our refuge

and strong tower,

For in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred ten, I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Psalm 27:5–6

Christianity doesn’t promise a life free from trials, but does promise that Jesus your redeemer and advocate will always be your refuge.

So, be like Jekinha, our duck, and let your reverence of the Lord be your Shield, and stop being afraid of what life throws at you.



Brian Jakowski
Reconstructing Christianity Together

I’m a missionary, pastor & Freelance Writer based in Maues Am, Brazil. We teach ESL work with local tribes and I write on all things regarding faith & Family.