We had hiked the dusty path several times, but on this particular day there were puddles from recent rains, puddles filled with tadpoles. Sporadically, we had spotted a frog or two near our pond, but of all things, tadpoles out in the middle of the desert?

Frog shows up to remind us of evolving development that is natural to life. Staying near water, Frog models cleansing any residue that we have allowed to accumulate by stagnating, rather than moving forward. Perhaps we could think of baptism as an ongoing sacrament, nudging us to walk in newness of life.

Several months passed. I peered out from the plane’s window to see clouds that looked as solid as the foundational stepping-stones of my elementary years. I could not imagine flying down and through to the other side. Like earlier teachings, they appeared reliable enough to sustain me.

I was fixated. In my mind I knew that clouds could not hold the weight of an airplane, but without my full weight, outer beliefs would not have sustained me, indefinitely. Truths that once supported me like gentle waters, offered a deeper relationship, by throwing me, like Toad, out onto the dry land. And just as a tadpole’s tail finally becomes its nourishment, I had to find sustenance by awakening latent strength inside of me.

It was not that former teachings were false, but rather that they wanted more of me. I had the choice of solely worshipping God, who was out there somewhere, or opening more fully to the mysterious relationship with Spirit, the one Jesus promised would be with us always.

Occasionally, Frog hops in to remind us that although it may feel as if we have lost our safe, womb-like waters, we have actually gained freedoms as vast as land and sea. Journeying with those who say yes to freedom has underscored the hope of resurrection, fresh possibilities that offer Life, after we have persevered through the inevitable dry times.

Frog may not be the most glamorous of Creation’s Bible, but when we consider kissing one of the least of these, sometimes a prince-like surprise rises up and gives us a gift. And when we open to the undesirable parts of ourselves, every now and then, Frog is at the heart of our untapped, yet resplendent strength.

Sacred Ruminations*