Yes. Touching Toads.
I love kids. I love how they think- I love how they communicate and soak in the truth. But- ocassionally- there are a few "challenges". See- I am a GIRL. My friends would say- the ALL CAPS in this case is necessary.
I'm not just a girl, I'm probably a "girlie girl". Yesterday? I surprised a few little guys with the fact that I'm not afraid of Toads.
I was surrounded by some of the most fabulous little ones ever. We were havin fun- at a Baptism in my friends backyard- and pool. The grills were lit, smoke from ribs and burgers tickled our noses.
The boys were doin "boy stuff" like bossing around the girls--- and chasing each other- and chasing--- well- NOTHING. They were playing with cars, "Rescue Heroes" were being segregated from the "girls toys".
Then, Joe- (one of my favorite- very big kids) found a toad. He was gonna let it go over the fence----
NO WAY. Here is my moment....what do little boys like more than a toad?
"Joe, Is that a toad? Can I have it????????" Was out of my mouth before I could think it through.
"Yeah, just let it go on the other side of the fence, when you're done.." Was the answer.
(I don't know why - maybe there is a toad infestation to be reckoned with, just outside their fence.)
I haven't held a toad in years. It had been even longer since one pee'd on me. Let's just say- today? It hasn't been long ago. I'm "current" with my Toadie quota at the moment.
It was only seconds before the "Girlie boundary " as broken. Little guys swarmed.
They wanted to hold the toad. I think they were a little surprised, that I was holding it. We giggled when the toad jumped free....to pee on my leg. Then we giggled again, when I scooped him up. Everybody gently touched Mr Toadie. No- we won't get warts- that's an old wives tale. (take it from an old wife;) We managed not to squash him.
Then, I put him outside the fence.
OK--- so maybe you're thinking a little funny- yes. Gross- too. But was it ministry?
Well... when we go to where others are--- and reach past ourselves- to touch toads... we often find ourselves touching hearts.
Maybe it was in the reaching past the pre-concieved notions-(girls don't touch toads) or maybe it was in the shared wonder of Creation... toads may be ugly--- but they are cute and definitely are amazing. (
Maybe it was just in taking time to talk to them... but those little guys? (And girls) well- we hung out on a blanket and goofed for quite a while after that.
I think we connected.
Sometimes- we miss finding the little toads that could connect us with our kids- we're too busy- or or distracted.
Truthfully- sometimes--- I'm just not that "into" the same things as my kids.
My boys love video games. I think they are a waste of time. But- you know what? When I strap on that plastic guitar, and play a few songs on "Guitar Hero" Ok.. so I cna only play ONE song- and I'm Awful! But-aftwards.... I get a whole evening of heart to heart with them. (Once they've finished laughing- of course.)
I can't play games all day- nor can my kids, (although they'd like too, I'm sure) and I sure I can't always have a toad in my purse-(although- I suppose its possible there is one.. somewhere in the bottom- you never know what you'll find in MY Purse;)
But- what if- for just a few minutes each day- we "touched toads?" We got involved in what our kids are into---- not invading their play and not allowing them to BE... but joining them, and letting love "happen"?
sounds like ministry to me....
1 Corinthinians 9:22-24
"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. "
Dear Lord- help us to see the missional toads in our midst- help us to love our kids- and the kids of others- in a way that makes a difference- everyday. I love you Lord- amen.