On Saturday, my little guy was out digging through his daddy's minnow bucket, soaking himself through and killing the minnows by carrying them around in the palm of his hand. Fish are his pals. The bucket of sparkling water was muddy by day's end. The boy smelled like a fish fry and looked like, well...a boy. Peanut butter smeared on his face, mud under his fingernails and shirt wet through up to his elbows.
At the same time, his big sister was collecting bugs for her science project. A caterpillar sits in a big jar awaiting his moment of transformation and nearby lie water bugs, worms, and roly poly bugs.
So, when I went for my morning walk and saw a quarter-sized turtle, I knew I had made a great discovery. Timmy the turtle now makes his home in an old fish tank - at least some of the time. The rest of the time, he can be found in Tupperware containers, in the PlaySchool plastic barn, in the kiddie pool, or in a pudgy little hand.
Poor turtle. I thought I was rescuing him from imminent death on the road. But, instead I was bringing him home to be tortured!
Last night, just after I had fallen into a deep satisfying sleep, a little hand nudged me. I closed my eyes and rolled over, trying to ignore the interruption. The nudge became a shove accompanied by tears.
"What is the matter, dear?" I mumbled to my middle child.
"The turtle is out of his home!"
"Did you take him out?"
"No, Mom, I promise. I didn't!" (So, how did he get out then???)
Oh dear. I can see it now: I go into the girls' bedroom to open the shades in the morning and "crunch" goes the unsuspecting turtle.
Never minding that it was the middle of the night, I turned on all the lights and began to search for the little fellow. He wasn't in the barn. He wasn't on the dresser or under it. He wasn't hiding in the piles of dirty clothes. I might have just given up, but my sweetheart's sobs compelled me to continue the search.
Finally, after I had searched everywhere, my daughter mentioned that she might have put him in the Tupperware. I dug through the grass and rocks that made his home. On the first dig, I felt nothing but rocks and grass. Finally, I realized that the very round and smooth "rock" was a sleeping turtle.
I returned the turtle to his home and shut out the lights. But the turtle wouldn't let me sleep. Timmy the turtle needs to stay in his home. That's where he is safest.
I need to stay in my "home" too - where I am safest, where I am protected by the walls of God's will on each side.