A few weeks ago, I happened upon a hapless turtle. She apparently hadn’t considered the difficulty of scaling the curb on the other side of the road she decided to cross. In a second, I had to make a decision.
My choices were simple:
1. Ignore the gentle tug on my heartstrings, urging me to intervene and just keep on driving.
2. Risk my life for her life by pulling to the side of the road and picking her up to send her safely on her way.
Now, it really wasn’t that dangerous. At least not for me. We were in the entrance to a cul-de-sac, after all.
Of course you know what I decided. But before we get into the details of the rescue, there are some things you need to know about a proper turtle rescue. Some simple facts that are good to know.
According to a herpetologist, whenever you decide to try to rescue a turtle, it’s important to make sure you put it back on the ground facing the same direction it was going. Apparently, they can be easily confused if you put them down facing another direction. You certainly don’t want to confuse a turtle any more than necessary during a rescue. It’s traumatic enough.
Another thing you need to know about turtles being rescued is that they don’t like being rescued. As a matter of fact, being rescued is a terrifying experience for turtles. Even the cute Eastern Box Turtle I wanted to rescue was scared.
When I tried to pick-up the turtle, she tried to run away. Turtles are slow. So, try as hard as she did to run away, she was caught.
When I gently grasped her by the edges of her shell, she tried to claw me. Repeatedly. And then she tried to run or swim away again. It was hard for her to go anywhere because she was suspended in mid-air.
I tried to calm her down. She would have none of it. I tried talking softly to her, but it wouldn’t work.
Despite her resistence, I quickly and carefully carried her across the road. Making sure she was pointing in the same direction I first discovered her, I placed her on the ground. I even went so far as to take her to a beautiful pond complete with a fountain. It was the closest to turtle heaven I could imagine.
This turtle rescue went off without a hitch, despite the reluctance and even protest of the turtle I rescued. It was the best possible thing that could’ve happened to the turtle. She didn’t think so at the time.
Pulling away from the turtle rescue, I couldn’t help but wonder how often we are the turtle. How often does God rescue us from danger, place us in a pleasant place, and we not appreciate it? How often do we resist His influence even though He has nothing but our best interest at heart?
Jesus said, upon His entrance into Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37b) Thankfully for us, Jesus came into Jerusalem not to cast His people off, but rather to gather them to Himself. He went much further than to cross the road, He went all the way to the cross.
Not sure if it’s morning or still late at night as I write this somewhere over the Atlantic, but either way, the following passage is a great daily reminder of God’s care and concern, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” (Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV)