““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
Look who’s awake!!
I know. I was surprised, too.
I heard it rustling about in the flowerbed behind me as I soaked up some of the first fine rays of spring.
A wood frog! Another harbinger of gladness, along with the thousands of migratory birds passing overhead all day.
A hopping frog means Spring with a capital ‘s’!
Perhaps the first frog of the season isn’t the brightest specimen. See, this wood frog made some colossally poor navigation choices.
And then to top it all off, he resisted my proffered assistance.
Let me explain.
It’s early Spring here in Saskatchewan. (If you need to know more about that process, you can do so here (A Saskatchewan Spring) and here (When Third Winter Has You By the Throat.) So of course there is still snow where Hubby pushed it into piles all winter. The biggest of these is on the edge of my garden, where I and said wood frog were congregated.
And wouldn’t you know it, the silly frog headed straight for the snowbank.
This thing is maybe six feet wide, twelve long, and more than four feet wide at the centre. (Delightful if you are a child who has access to a sled. Not so much if you are a newly revived frog, fresh off the frozen-solid-frogsicle phase of hibernation.)
I tried to help. Really, I did.
But the frog would have none of it.
I don’t know what happens to a frog who gets stuck on a snowbank, and I may never know. The silly thing has evaded me at every turn and I have no idea of his current whereabouts. If only he knew I was just trying to help, instead of assuming I’m an axe murderer looking for revenge.
This whole situation is feeling somewhat familiar.
Except I am the silly frog, and I am making colossally poor navigation choices – and resisting God’s offer of help, to boot.
The context of this passage from Luke is Jesus, riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, crying because of all of us silly wood frogs…
(Ok, the folks in question were human, not amphibian, but you get the point.)
Our problem as humans is that we behave too much like this wood frog. We make errors in navigation all the time, and then resist being put back on track. We let our fear and natural distrust cloud our judgement, and off we go, headlong into a snowbank.
And look at what this passage says about the heart of God.
He cries. He is not angry, but sorrowful that you and I are running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction, as the song by Casting Crowns relates. He longs to protect and guide and be present with us on our journey – but we are so distracted by what we want and so paranoid of losing our rights that we don’t even see the hand of help right in front of our faces.
Learn from a silly wood frog with me?
Father, Your heart hurts when we make choices that hurt us. How ready You are with Your offers of assistance! Give us eyes to see the love and care You are more than ready to provide, and give us the desire to allow Your help when we mess up. Amen.