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Monday, 1 September 2014

The Blueberries and the Frog

Two blueberry bushes in the garden have been there for two years. Previously there were never any berries ripening to maturity because I didn’t cover them, and the fat birds had a feast. This year I reckoned it was my turn for a feast. So I stretched a green plastic netting over the top to allow them to ripen in the sunshine.

Last week Don found a bird dead in the netting, strangled. We hated that, but I was still eager to bring in a berry harvest so left the netting on.

Today I went out to bring in what might be ready and noticed something which I took to be a mushroom having grown up through the netting. It’s been wet on and off the last few days. I flicked the netting up and realized how heavy this brown blob was, and then it started to flail about.

To my horror I recognized a wee frog entangled in the plastic netting. I zipped into the house for scissors and spent a quarter of an hour gently snipping green plastic, first freeing his feet, then his body. Poor wee thing was desperate to escape and began trying to hop, which made me fear for its safety as it too might have strangled itself.

Nothing else for it. I had to gently cradle the frog’s body in my left hand and snip away at the tangled mess under its heaving chest, finally releasing the last bit of plastic gripping his neck. And he was free. 

I was delighted to see him hop away, first rather tentatively. Maybe he was just exhausted. Who knows how long he had struggled in the trap of mesh. Once he’d regained his breath, or his strength, he clambered off into the undergrowth fringe of weeds. 

Our heavenly father often finds us trapped in sin, strangling as we struggle to escape. We must look a bit like frogs (in other words, not exceptionally beautiful!) but our father gently picks us up (without garden gloves, too!) and tenderly disentangles us, bit by bit, until we can stagger off to live another day.

I’m still enjoying the sense of success from freeing the trapped frog. I hope that our heavenly father has a moment now and then to savour the sense of satisfaction from freeing another of his children from the grip of sin. 

We are so blessed. And I am thankful.

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