I HAVE MADE A NEW FRIEND!!
Oh my goodness, I mean, I've recently had the sweetest encounter with a bullfrog! A "first" encounter that has quickly turned into a nightly one!
It was a week ago. I was outside with my dogs (all three of them!). Every night for the previous several I had seen a huge bullfrog sitting on the sidewalk right next to my front door. That particular night I was trying to make one of my dogs see him, but the dog was blind to the frog because of his color and his stillness (without any movement, he carried a close resemblance to a rock). So (in my effort to help my dog see) I got a small stick in order to poke him and to force from him some movement. Only the poke didn't do that. The poke failed its purpose. The poke evoked a whole different reaction than the one that I was expecting. The nudge from the stick didn't budge him! Instead, he just leaned into it as if he invited it! He leaned in such a way that it lead me to believe that he wanted me to continue!
And so, that's just what a did! I didn't necessarily poke anymore, I rubbed. I scratched. He squinted his eyes like it felt so good! He leaned to whichever side I scratched him on. When I went to scratch him under his neck, he closed his eyes and literally LAID on the sidewalk so that he could rub into the stick all that much harder! It was priceless! Adorable! I thought he was going to turn upside down! I stayed out there talking to that silly thing forever. I came back in and texted my kids, letting them know of my new-found wonder! I immediately named him! I didn't ponder but a minute before I dubbed him "Jeremiah"! Surely (though my kids don't!) you remember the song and can sing the line with me: "Jeremiah was a bullfrog, a good good friend of mine...."
I am astounded at his seeming this-feels-so-good-oh-please-don't stopness...I told one of my kids, "Maybe it's Prince Charming coming on a mission to look for one of my daughters???" I've warned Mr. Charming that I'm already married! And yet, with his sleepy squinting eyes, he already appears to be smitten. Entranced. In-love forever!
After massaging the critter that first night, I came in boasting about him to my husband. I went back after a little bit to look for him again, but upon not finding him, I guessed he'd gone back into the bushes for the night. That didn't stop me from squatting down to look for him. It didn't stop me from calling him. "Jeremiah! Jeremiah! Hey you, where'd you go?" I whistled. I clicked-clicked (that thing that you do when you're calling an animal with your tongue). He didn't answer. Didn't appear. Didn't come back. But hey, I tried again the next night. And I'll be, I found him almost instantly! I had my stick ready... and he was ready for it! He was there to enjoy the moment again! It was a Kodak moment!
So cute!! I told God that, "I am so impressed with all that You've made!" I told Him, "I love Your creation! I love Your creatures! I love their uniqueness! I love their surprises! I love their differences!"
I've seen him every night since! I go out multiple times just to scratch and massage on him a minute. And to think... it all started with a poke! That poke that soon developed into a friendship!
You know... we can learn some deep lessons from that small thing. Our reactions to a poke doesn't always have to be what the norm is. A poke (even if done in meanness or madness or aggravatedness or provokeness), if reacted abnormally, it might could actually turn into something beautiful!
My girls in prison get "poked" a lot in order to provoke a negative reaction! To start a fight. To prove a point. To show seniority. But woe, what if we did what the frog did?!! What if we leaned in toward the person that poked us? What if we didn't get so defensive? What if we didn't get so mad? What if we attempted instead to start a friendship? What if we stunned the person with our sweetness despite the poke? Despite the hit? Despite the harsh words meant to start a fight?
Don't you just love what God will use to teach us? I think He sent him to me! I think He smiles at us (me and Jeremiah) when we sit outside for a few minutes each night and play with each other! I think that He likes that we enjoy each other! :) Can you only imagine even more what He'd think if we did the same toward a pokey-person!