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The Chlorinated Frog

The Daily Selectionary

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today’s Readings:

Daily Office Readings: (AM) Psalm 119:1-24; (PM) Psalm 12, 13, 14 
Isa. 41:1-16; Eph. 2:1-10; Mark 1:29-45 

Eucharistic ReadingsHeb. 2:14-18
Psalm 105:1-15; Mark 1:29-39


The Chlorinated Frog

Christopher Hodge


Ephesians 2:1-10

1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

                One late evening, back toward the end of the summer, I was wading through the clubhouse pool.  The water was starting to get cooler by the minute it seemed and the beads of chlorinated water on my shoulders began to rival the goose bumps that were starting to form.  From the corner of my peripheral I could see that my partner and I were not alone.  Swimming faster than his legs could paddle was a tiny Rain Frog.  I don’t know if the little thing knew it or not, from his frantic behavior he probably did know – but he had jumped into something out of which he was not going to be able free himself.  The poor creature was just following his desires.  He saw water and he took a dive.  In the past I had seen many frogs just like this one who sadly ended their last heartbeat in that swimming pool.  I decided then and there that this cute swimmer would not experience that same fate.

                It took probably about the next thirty minutes trying to get the frog to safety.  With the sloshing of the water, the fright of the frog propelling him away from us, my partner and I were having an ill attempted drive to free him.  There were a couple of times that I did succeed in catching him, only for him to slip back out of my hands into the even colder pool.  Eventually we did it.  I cupped him in my hands and brought him to a bed of grass where he sat a few moments then flopped himself into the dark away from the intruding humans.  I don’t know if he was thankful.  Did he know what had just happened?  Maybe no.  But maybe so.  I will never know.

                I can compare the passage from Ephesians to our adventure in the pool that night.  That frog did not see the danger he had gotten himself into, but I recognized it.  I could have left him to his own demise, but I decided to help.  I had never met the frog before.  He had never done anything for me.  Actually, he didn’t even know who I was.  Out of my love for all of God’s creation, I did not think about any of that.  I began my scooping routine immediately upon recognizing the little amphibian’s plight.  It was grace.  He tried to get away from me because he did not know any better.  He was headed for death, and I wanted to stop that from happening as best as I could. 

                We who are living in this world have been given the same token from the saving grace of Christ Jesus.  At times we flail our legs in the water trying to escape his hands from guiding us to safety.  We have never physically met Him or have we audibly heard him speak to us, no deed we do will ever compare of his sacrifice for us on Golgotha, yet none of that matters.  His grace still keeps us from eternal death.  No matter how many times we jump back into that pool circling around in confusion, he jumps back in with us, attempting to scoop us back out again.

                I can only pray that after I left that night that the frog did not decide to find the pool again and take another dive.  I would not have been there to save him again.  Thankfully, God never leaves us.  He will always attempt to lead us to safety time and time again.

Daily Scripture readings are taken from The Revised Common Lectionary and can be read in full at  NRSV translation of the Holy Scriptures.  Please feel free to pass along this devotion to whomever you feel may benefit from it. – © Christopher Hodge  2011   email: