My husband had moved most of our potted plants and baskets from our fountain area up to our front porch to shield them from the last tropical storm. Several of the plants were placed under a bench that sits right by the door. Even though another storm is poised to visit in a few days, I decided to move all the plants back out to the yard today.
As I picked up a plantless basket, something caught my eye. The basket seemed to be alive with several hopping baby toads–each the size of a dime or less, with rusty orange skin. After notifying our young son of my latest find, I got my camera out…
This little clan of newly footed toads had been living in the basket, complete with a few dead leaves convenient for camouflage purposes. I’m not sure if my tiny friend got into the state he was in while he was in the basket or after he was free on the ground, but he was picking up quite a bit of dirt and sand.
In one of the books of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, a human character is overtaken by sin and turned into a dragon. The dragon has scales all over his body. Sad and broken, the creature tries to scrape the scales away, but he cannot. The point is made that one can never remove their own sin. Only God can forgive us and cast our sin away. The image of sin and poor choices turning this young man into a scale scraping dragon has stayed with me for years. My young toad resembled the dragon, sitting there covered in debris.
We have all been there. I was once a dragon. I’m sure you were, too–changed into something we’d never imagined being by the consequences of our sin, constantly reminded of our failures by the scales that we could never completely scrape off.
Our story–yours and mine–doesn’t end there, of course. As we struggled in our existance apart from God, He came to us–pitiful dragons covered in sin–and forgave us. With His mighty hand, He removed each and every scale. But that wasn’t all. He did not leave us as smooth skined dragons. He restored us back to humanity, redeemed to serve Him, our Savior and Lord.