The rain was torrential.
I had driven to work in rain and pink lightning with the radio announcer speaking of 60 mile an hour wind gusts.
Throughout the day there were several weather advisories announced, including tornado watches and warnings. Outdoor areas were flooding in many places.
Moments before I was to get off work, somone told me that a toad was in water under an iron grating fastened to concrete. Under the grating was a water drain. It was almost full, with maybe 10 inches or so of airspace left. Knowing my love of animals, I was expected to go and rescue him.
Down on my knees on the wet pavement, other coworkers began arriving, some thinking I had dropped something by accident under the bars. Someone put an umbrella down into the hole and then expanded it in hopes of capturing the toad. I used a twig to try to reach him. Another onlooker went to their car to get pvc pipe and a baseball cap to try and gather him up. Someone went to get a kitchen scoop. No one wanted the poor creature to die–He was calling out for help.
Bellowing his throat to the size of a golf ball, you could hear his pleas for help all around as he struggled to keep from drowning. After about 25 minutes, we decided that we could pull the umbrella up in a postion partially in the water, but protruding out of it so that our desperate toad friend could crawl onto it and breathe until the water receded.
When I finally left work, my car was parked in an area where there is a very, very large concrete retainment pond, meant to collect large amounts of water on days such as the one we were experiencing.
It was flooded.
What I saw and heard next was heart breaking.
Perhaps a hundred toads or more were drowning before me. The concrete walls were too steep to grasp. In this river of flood water, they were trying to get out; one very close to me was sticking his head out above water and crying out in a low pitched plea for help and salvation, along with countless other voices. The sound was incredible—it was so LOUD. An entire chorus of begging and pleading and I could do nothing for them but pray. I took out my camera and recorded the massive cries all around me.
As I showed my husband the video, his face was troubled with the sadness of the harsh reality. So many, probably lost, and no one to help.
You might think, "But it was only a group of toads! Who cares?"
The toads are like the people of this world, carrying on life in a seemingly safe surrounding. Then, out of the blue, as though a trick from Satan, they are suddenly trapped in the consequences of their sin that have begun to rain down on them. Swimming in desperation, frantically crying out for help, and many times, no one comes.
After all they’re just a …..
grocery store clerk?
an unknown face in the crowd?
Desperately needing repentance and faith, they are slowly drowning.
I realized, sadly, that I could not rescue the toads beyond the high fence that separated them from me. I was on lofty ground, safe from the flood. They were in deep water, imploring pity from someone–anyone. I did, however, try my best to bring the possibility of life back to the toad under the grating.
Just before I had gone to my car, I checked on him just once more. To my delight, he was above the umbrella—and another toad that had been trapped had joined him. His rescue led to that of one more.
Wet shoes, wet pants, rained-on shirt.
It was worth it.
What’s it worth to tell someone about what Jesus has done to rescue them?
They’re calling out to you—can’t you hear them?