Brown Swans

We had an unusually pleasant day on Saturday. A visit to friends had been unavoidably cancelled; my resolution to spend the day working on the computer was destroyed by the sun’s rays pulling me outdoors. The trees by the canal were golden and their reflections graced the water’s surface. The sky was a clear blue, the recent winds all gone. Everything seemed perfect. A family of swans glided past the banks- but they were imperfect, or at least four of them were. Instead of the crisp white which one might have expected on so perfect a day, they were brown and miscoloured. These swans were just six months old, and had not yet attained the pure white of adulthood. That time would come, but that time was not come. It is no misfortune, no cause for regret; those brown feathers will soon be shed and duly replaced with that brilliant white for which their species is famous.

Have you, like me, ever spoiled a perfect day, or afternoon, by doing the wrong thing? Misjudging a joke, lacking patience, harbouring wickedness in the heart? O wretched man that I am. Though no longer cygnets in the faith, neither are we yet wholly sanctified and Christ-like.


To the truly regenerate, this is a most wonderful and appealing promise. To the unregenerate, is it a shruggable prospect, unworthy of any reaction save cool neutrality. The maturation and ripening from forgiven sinner to purified saint is one of the primary reasons that heaven will be so wonderful- second only to the presence of the Holy One Himself.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14