Bullfrogs and Butterflies (055)

Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another from the heart fervently: having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever. (1 Peter 1:22 23 WEB)

All my life I enjoyed nature. I have a great love for most animals and a favorite pastime on furlough is to visit the numerous zoos across the USA. Reading about different animals, watching them crawl, creep, slither and swim has always fascinated me. Hiking in the forest, camping, sitting and watching the clouds go by are engaging activities.

My love for nature probably explains my interest in Scouting and camp outs. Several times a year my father and I would join the Scout troop and go camping. Summer or winter, it was always delightful and gave me a chance to observe the local wildlife. In the creek near our home I investigated the life span of frogs and watched the fluttering of butterflies in the forest.

Scouting was not a big option on the small island of Guam. They were there but not with the same friendship building, skill developing activities I remembered as a boy. Our children enjoyed the nature found in our neighborhood and throughout the island. Geckos, chameleons, praying mantis, snakes and numerous bugs were carefully investigated by all our children.

My favorite run in with animals occurred during a church presentation. It was a children’s musical called “Bullfrogs and Butterflies.” There was an Ark and our friend Dave played Noah while dressed as a pirate. The children took over the animal parts with a wide variety of costumes. It was the first big children’s presentation in our church in years.

Ellice was called on to be a butterfly and Joel was cast as the green squatting bullfrog. Their responses to their parts were very different.

Ellice was thrilled to wear fluffy sleeves, a beautiful skirt and a hat with antenna. If she spun herself around the skirt would flare out like a ballerina. At each practice she carefully followed directions, learned her part and took the whole event seriously.

Joel, although willing to participate, was not quite as excited. He almost learned his part, followed most of the directions and made a great frog all hunched down on the platform. He was fascinated with all the costumes, the Ark, and the fun and excitement of so much singing and dancing.

I don’t remember the whole performance. In truth I remember only a few special parts. Video tapes are a wonderful thing for resuscitating memories.

At one point Ellice was twirling about portraying the elusive butterfly. Suddenly her little skirt came loose and fell to the ground. Quickly she picked it up and tried to tie it back on. Poor Dave, he tried to help but wasn’t sure how to attach the thin fabric of the costume.

Joel, at one point, squatted down near the front of the stage. Beside him were a couple other green clad crouching frogs. In unison they would belt out there “reedeep” then hop around the stage trying not to knock the other children off their feet.

Although they sang a number of songs I remember only one line from the theme song. It ran, “Like bullfrogs and butterflies, you got to be born again.” It’s amazing I remember this line. My memory isn’t that good!

As Christians, God pricks out memories with simple and poignant messages. You’ve got to be born again! Praise the Lord all four of my children are born again. I pray daily they will lead others to God’s throne of grace. I pray they will help other tadpoles and caterpillars discover they can be born again through God’s grace.

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