Frog song. That’s the sound of summer bedtimes to me. Warm air coming through the open bedroom window, and apart from the distant, comforting sounds of my mother putting her kitchen in order after another full day of feeding a constantly hungry husband and four rambunctious kids, the evensong would begin with its humming and skreeing and chirping. The source? A few hundred feet behind our house, in the woods which made up the majority of our 25 acres, was a marshy area that was home to a thriving amphibian metropolis. And those littlish guys so loved the season it was hard for them to get to sleep at night without singing. It was like a swamp choir rehearsal. I used to imagine the occasional deep, if slightly discordant, bullfrog croaks were a kind of parental warning that it was time to quit the noise and go to sleep. If I picture the scenario correctly, those were some impishly disobedient kids! As I reflect now, of all the sounds in nature, that musical lullaby wasn’t the most melodious, but it was, for want of a better word, joyously integral with other good summer things like the smell of mown hay, wild strawberries, rhubarb pie baking in the wood stove, clean-air fresh t-shirts straight from the clothesline – and Grammie’s lilacs! So, because of its omnipresence in my childhood, I’m not perturbed by the thought of all those croaking green neighbors. They certainly didn’t keep me awake. I will admit, for the uninitiated, ‘lovely’ would not be a likely descriptor they’d employ.
Challenging our 2022 pursuit of more Grace are other sources of sound/noise to which we’ve grown accustomed, or perhaps just weary. One British anthropologist deems human beings are created to live in, respond to, and care for, a community of approximately 150 people. Today, we are incessantly alerted to all the ills and setbacks and tragedies in our ‘global village’ of nearly 8,000,000,000 (that’s 8 billion!) souls! With the constant pinging of those newsfeeds as our bedtime lullaby (yearlong, not just summer) little wonder we are stretched, stressed, stricken, soul-battered, sleep deprived. Worse, those all-consuming sound bites are so effective in riveting our attention there, on the negative, the crushing, the insurmountable, there is little remaining willpower to turn to see Jesus standing right in the midst of the chaos. But, if I may be so bold, turn we must! Here’s Jesus: “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matt. 11:28-30 TPT. I don’t know about you, but I could put that message on repeat! Could we put the invitation’s contents into a sentence? Come. Refresh. Oasis. Rest. Pleasant. Sleepy yet? Get some of that rest and I’ll see y’all in the morning, 10 AM. PD