This morning as I was coming out of my front door to take the trash to the curb for pickup, I spotted something moving on the front grill of my car. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a brown and white frog just sitting there, or so I thought.
I tried to coax him to move along so I nudged him on his little behind with the tip of my flip flop. I was hoping that this would do the trick and he would move along because I needed to get in my car and go to work. I continued to take the trash barrel to the curb in hopes that my nudging would work.
I have never feared frogs and am somewhat fond of the cute little amphibians, however had this been a snake or any other creature I might not have been so compassionate. As I came back after taking the trash, I noticed he had not moved. Now- I was slightly annoyed because I tried moving him earlier and he didn’t respond, but I needed to get to work and didn’t need any extra passengers along the way. So, I bent down to get a closer inspection of why he wasn’t moving on.
That’s when I saw it, his little arm was caught in between the two grills of my car and as I got a closer look, I could see his left eye was bleeding and he had some blood and frog juice coming out of his arm socket. Oh, my goodness, I wondered if this guy had gotten stuck here last night from my niece’s house. She has a flower bed in her front yard that contains a plethora of beautiful wildflowers, succulents, and plants that I am sure he calls home and I had parked right in front of the flower bed last night at her birthday party.
As I got down on the ground to see if I could maneuver him out of the double grill, he thrashed about and everything that I was trying to do for him was counterproductive because of his violent reaction. I started to talk to him and say, “Lil buddy I am only trying to help you, let me help you, stop fighting me in this- just cooperate and I will get you out of this.”
The more I tried to help, the harder he fought me in his plight for freedom. I struggled trying to get a good grip on his little slimy arm and noticed how hurt he really was. My compassion for his pain and his situation was pushing me to not give up on this little frog so I continued to try and help. I know this sounds ridiculous, because this is a frog, but in all my education and training I started to think about his reaction to this trauma.
It just made sense. He was reacting to an event that was happening to him, in pain and very much afraid of me because he feared me. He didn’t know me, didn’t trust me and let’s face it- he’s a frog and to him I’m a predator. He had no idea he could trust me as I was there to help him, not hurt him.
Laying on the ground in my work clothes, under the hood of my car as I was talking to my new little buddy, I thought to myself, “I am sure anyone passing by would think I have lost my marbles.” I didn’t care, I was on a mission to save my little frog buddy and improve his outcome.
Finally, after much force, I was able to maneuver the two grills and separate them to free his little arm. Ah, success! At that point I was thinking that he would be happy to be free and just jump away into the grass to safety, but he just sat there on the grill.
That tug of compassion hit me again, like a wave and I thought maybe he was so hurt he couldn’t move or in shock, so I nudged him some more and he started to jump in the wrong direction. I ran after him, yelling, “No little dude that’s the wrong way, it’s the road and you will get squashed out there.”
I slowly picked him up and placed him in my yard and prodded him along a different path for his safety. It took him a minute, but he started to hop. I thought that the wet grass will make him feel better and safe to be back in his natural habitat. I smiled and patted and thought- Ahh, little dude- now you know what redemption feels like.
I went inside to wash my hands and gather my things for work, and no sooner had I opened the door when I heard my yard guy starting his lawnmower. Panic set in as I ran back to the place in the yard where my new friend had found his freedom and saw that he had hopped away. Thank God, He had tucked himself away, hiding so he can continue his journey- a little bruised up but alive.
I breathed a sigh of relief and laughed to myself about how ridiculous this whole thing was because it was a frog- and it was early in the morning. What a horrible night that must have been for him I thought. Leaving his home and safety of his flower bed, hopping onto my car, and getting stuck to the point of where he was hurt badly. Bruised, broken, lost and afraid- my buddy was in bad shape when I found him.
On the way to work, I thought about our girls and how they really are no different than the frog. Addiction has them displaced, broken and afraid. That’s what trauma does. Until resolved, trauma has them stuck in a foreign place, hurt, battered, and broken using drugs and alcohol to try and mask those holes in their souls. They come to His House much like my frog buddy, unsure of who to trust and fighting us the whole way. It takes work because recovery is hard. Healing from trauma takes time, money, effort, and a tribe. Even in their recovery and after care, they often must be prodded to stay on the right path and supported in their new lives.
While driving I was thinking about the whole experience and the simplicity of it all and let’s be real, the ridiculousness of it- however, in His way- God showed me something. He brought to my memory- Hagar in Genesis 16. Hagar was a servant girl, lost and betrayed. She was hurt and alone and wondered if anyone cared. Lost in a foreign place and very badly wounded in her soul, God saw her and provided for her needs. He is the God who sees us- “El-Roi.” He saw Hagar in her despair, pain and brokenness and provided for her so she could recover. And that she did, she was the mother of Ishmael. Like Hagar, our girls are on difficult journeys, feeling broken, lost, and afraid to trust. But even in that foreign place or a wasteland like Hagar, God sees them.
Our mission at His House is to help get these women to a place that they see Him too- and will also come to understand the love of God, see His provision, and understand that we are only a part, a tool that He uses to help them get unstuck, and to a safer place. That is- His love, His character and sometimes they do not trust that at first. But He sees them. His love for these women is so faithful and He longs for them to be free. He pursues them with an endearing love because He wants to help them recover safely and be healed to move along in their journey. I rescued one little frog not a big deal, however Jesus rescued all our stories. All for her, because of HIM!