Sick most of the week, helpful son out of town, I did my usual babysitting of two-year-old granddaughter, approached weekend with duty of proofreading and assembling PowerPoint presentation for church, editing pastor's sermon outline, studying and assembling materials to teach children's church and preparing for group of 15 or so coming for lunch after church, I wasn't quite sure how this was all going to work out. We dashed home after church to get ready for the lunch. Not long after, another couple arrived. They came early. To help. I was mighty happy to give them some of the last-minute tasks of rounding up plates and cups, hoisting down a pitcher from the back of the highest shelf and helping to concoct a batch of lemonade. Having other hands take some of the hassle made it disappear. I calmed down and turned happy. God does this sort of thing with His people, even when we forget to ask.
He uses amphibians too. In Florida, February is time to plant, but I dreaded opening my composter today to replenish the raised bed that was calling out for radishes and tomatoes. It's a big drum with a latching lid, and the last several times I'd opened it, it teemed with sleek, well-fed cockroaches. Shudder. So with the two-year-old's help (loosely defined), I dragged a shovel and rake out of the shed and steeled myself. I popped the latches, flung open the lid and stood back. Not a single insect skittered out of the compost. Not even when I poked it with the shovel. As I started merrily and half-disbelieving to shovel compost into the wheelbarrow, I saw, perched high on the wall of the bin, a big, ugly, beautiful toad. That was where the roaches went: into his warty, gray, bulbous belly.
I have never felt such love for an amphibian in my life. As I shoveled, it crept down into the compost and hid behind an egg shell. "Don't you worry, sweetheart. I wouldn't hurt you for the world," said I. I pointed it out to little Chloe in the same tone I use for hawks and woodpeckers and new blossoms on the lemon tree. I couldn't help thinking it was sent to give me a break, just like the beautiful humans on Sunday. Psalm 121. It's true.