Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
I've been through this before....nursing a dying lizard back to health. Last time, although we tried, we prayed, we went to the vet - we were unable to save my middle son's leopard gecko.
Back then...we were nervous when we walked into the vet, but when I asked in a hushed whisper, so my son could hardly hear, "So, do you think he's gonna die?" The vet responded, "No, he should be fine. This is fairly common." We were hopeful. Confident.
When Stripe (the first lizard) died, my son said he wanted to wait awhile before having another one. He waited about 9 months before he thought he was ready. Jackson loves lizards. Actually, he loves all living things. He has a connection to the inner beatings of creatures. He is the most himself when he's outside in the forest or digging in the ground...anything God created, Jackson loves.
So, when he said to me a few weeks ago, "Mom, something's wrong with Norbert (the new lizard). I think he's sick. You have to take him to the vet," I couldn't help but feel the injustice of it all. Jackson coos over this lizard, feeds it, turns it's lights on and off.... He does every single thing we were told to do to care for Norbert.
Turns out...we didn't have all the information. We hadn't been caring for him as well as we should have been. Jackson was scared. And - Jackson was livid, because in his words, "All the pet store cares about is the money. They don't care about the pets." Hard to argue with that.
I took this little bearded dragon to the exotic pet vet where he received a shot, a bath, an eye treatment, calcium, and a super-duper vitamin boost. I was 'taught' how to syringe feed him at home. How to bathe him and help him shed. How to give him calcium and put ointment on his eye. How to rub his belly to help him poop (Yup - the things a mom will do for her children).
As Jackson watched me do all these things, he said, "It's worse than I thought, Mom." Hmmm....me too.
"Is he going to die?" he asks.
"Oh, Jackson, I don't know. It's 50-50. It's a precarious situation. We'll do everything we possibly can but there's no guarantees." I didn't want to promise him anything.
Every day we've been going through this regimen. And...he's been getting better. At first, I didn't say anything about it to Jackson. I didn't want him to start to hope and then have his hopes dashed.
Jack eventually noticed and said, "I think h'es getting better."
"Yes, it looks that way. But...don't get you're hopes up too much. You never know," was my response.
But Norbert is getting better. He ate live food yesterday - crickets dusted with calcium. I've begun to hope myself. And, I've begun to realize..what is life without 'hope'? And why did I try to take that away from Jackson? If we hope, we may get hurt. But if we don't hope, our hearts still may break.
Hope doesn't guarantee...but hope is what hanging onto life is all about.
Am I afraid to hope still? Maybe. Maybe in many, many areas of life we all are a bit afraid to hope. Discovering what it means to hope is probably about as close as we get to discovering what it really means to live.
Come on, Norbert! We're all hoping and praying for you.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.