The spiritual significance of snow on a platypus | Doug Bursch

When writing a column, the beginning is the hardest part. The lead-in words never come easy to me. So I think I’ll start today’s column with the ending first.

When writing a column, the beginning is the hardest part. The lead-in words never come easy to me. So I think I’ll start today’s column with the ending first.

… and that my friends is why you never pet a duck-billed platypus in a snowstorm. Now, make room for the Lord and have a great week.

Now, that would be a great ending. But who am I kidding, I’m never going to reach that conclusion, let alone make a spiritually significant observation about snow laden platypuses. Or is it snow-laden platypi?

As a side note, 33 percent of the people who started reading today’s column stopped at the word platypi. Ten percent stopped when they read the words Doug Bursch. If my math is correct, 55 percent of my initial readers remain. By the way, I just lost two more readers who are upset with my subpar math skills. And 2 percent of my readership just baled because all this math is reminding them of how much they hate word problems.

Maybe that’s the goal of today’s writing exercise, to whittle my audience down to just a couple people. Let’s just see who has the endurance to read all the way to the end. I know the smart-alecks and smart-allises among us are saying, “Endurance is needed to read anything Doug writes!”

All I have to say about that is why don’t you keep your thoughts out of my column? So where was I? Or more importantly, where am I? Ah yes, I’m at the middle point of today’s writing experiment.

This is where I begin to consider the freedom and/or oppression of my editor-enforced words-per-column limit. I begin to panic that I have too much or too little left to say. It’s when I realize I’ve put a lot of work into today’s effort, but if I don’t focus I won’t reach the right conclusion. Remember, there is a spiritually significant, snow-laden platypus waiting at the finish line and I’ve got just a few more words to find it.

Another side note here. There are three kinds of people who read all the way through my columns; people who really love my writing, people who really hate my writing, and people who are really my mother.

The people who really hate or dislike or strongly disdain my writing usually don’t appreciate my humor or my spiritual content. More precisely, they wish I’d talk more about Jesus and less about duck-billed platypuses (platypi?).

The assumption is that spiritual transformation is rooted in saying and doing things that look overtly spiritual. I certainly agree to the importance of direct, straight-forward, spiritual communication. However, I also believe in freedom.

I believe God has given each of us tremendous creative capacity. I am confident God is the author of dance, song, poetry, philosophy, art, humor and all other creative expressions. No one laughs louder or harder than God. I think God made us to be fanciful, silly, light-hearted and wonderfully complex.

Yes, there is a time and a season for everything. Not all of my life is fanciful. In fact, much of my life is difficult and painful, just like yours. Even so, my heart’s desire is to bring people joy and to honor God with every silly word I write. My creativity is my testimony of the freedom I’ve found in Christ.

Which reminds me of a story I read about a little-known herd of Icelandic duck-billed platypuses. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space left in today’s column to tell you that story and its profound spiritual significance. Now make room for the Lord, and have a great week.

“Live from Seattle with Doug Bursch” can be heard 4-6 p.m. weekdays on KGNW 820 AM. Doug Bursch also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at 2407 M St. SE next to Pioneer Elementary School. He can be reached at or