There was a homicide committed in my garden yesterday.
I was busily chopping in my flower bed trying to dig up all my bulbs and flowers so I could move them to a new bed. I always watch for hibernating snakes as I dig.
There is a running joke between me and my husband. He can go out and shovel mulch, dig holes, spread pine needles and never run into a snake.
The first shovel of mulch that I load usually has a ground snake in it. If I dig a hole, I usually dig up a snake. Last year, when I went to put out pine needles, I broke the bale apart and, low and behold, a snake had crawled in to get warm.
I don’t like snakes.
So…..I was busily chopping around my flowers while watching for snakes. One flower was especially hard to get out, so I went for my girl mattock and gave it several hardy whacks.
Then I saw it, a sweet little toad had hibernated in what he thought to be a safe place, sleeping away the cold winter, waiting for spring. I jumped back in horror. Then I looked closer. Maybe he was already dead. Maybe the cold winter had killed him. But no, the wounds were fresh, and there was one final kick of his little leg. I was guilty. Grief for destroying an innocent life swept over me.
How many times do we go through life, watching for “snakes”, then stepping on and destroying the sweet gentle lives that God has placed there to help us?
I pray that God gives me the grace to see and nurture the sweet, gentle people in my life and ignore all the “snakes.”
Who do you need to nurture today?