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Saturday

A Tale of Mr. Lizard and Redemption

So, tonight I was enjoying a lovely evening with my mom, puppies, and Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama (How cute is her hair in that movie, anyway?) when suddenly I spotted an unexpected guest on my multicolored doormat: Mr. Lizard.

I should begin by saying that I've had a great sensitivity to life ever since I was a child. At the mature age of five, I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian--soon as I realized what meat was. And guess what? I've been meat-free ever since, almost twenty years now.

So you can imagine my chagrin when I see Mr. Lizard, who usually greets me from the wreath outside my door, inside my house. I like talking to these creatures, not touching them. He scurried into the closet and inside the bottom compartment of the vacuum cleaner. So I took an old t-shirt, wrapped it around that part of the vacuum so he couldn't escape, and proceeded to carry the whole thing outside. Foolproof, right?

Wrong.

I carefully set the full-sized red vacuum outside, and all I could see at this point was the tip of Mr. Lizard's tale. I brushed it with a random Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon I happened to have laying around, and the lizard doesn't move.

So I brushed the tail again. And again, and again. But he still didn't move.

And then I realized what happened. When I moved the vacuum cleaner, I smushed him.

I carried the contraption back inside the house, returned it to the closet, and slumped into my couch. Then I looked at my dog Schroeder and explained the whole thing. He looked back at me, so concerned, and I started crying.

I kept picturing Mr. Lizard's tail and how it didn't move when I touched it, how I was the one responsible for that. It would've been easier had I run over him accidentally with my car, because then I would've had to keep going, and I never would've seen him. But I did see him, and he was motionless, and something about that was terrifying, particularly because I knew I was at fault.

Then, because I sometimes get irrational thoughts, I figured I'd check just one more time to make sure he was still dead.

And guess what?

He wasn't.

His little green body was clinging to the side of the closet wall, and I swear he looked terrified. I was shocked. Here I was, confessing my heart to Schroeder and even crying over Mr. Lizard's tragic passing, and meanwhile, he was having a little party as he tried to decide whether he wanted to squeeze inside the Apples to Apples box or the Lord-of-the-Rings-themed Risk. And let's be honest, how do you choose between those two?

What followed was a string of rescue attempts--including but not limited to my using a hanger to help him down and screaming like the stylist dyed my hair orange when he actually climbed onto it. Ultimately, though, you'll be relieved to know Mr. Lizard found shelter in last year's Easter basket, into which he ran directly before I carried him and the Easter basket safely to the front porch.

And I realized, what I was mourning, God was in the process of redeeming.

Okay, so maybe that sounds a little dramatic...this is a lizard we're talking about, after all...but the lizard is really more of a figure than anything else.

Is there anything in your life that you've given up on because it looks like hope is lost? Maybe it's a lot more serious than a lizard in the house. Don't despair; God is always in the process of redeeming that which we've lost. It's only when we really give up control that healing begins.

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