The storm had died down. The wind and hail had moved on. We went out to the horse barn to check on the horses, and feed up. I checked the water troughs, sure they would be full after the heavy rain, and there, floating on a little piece of bark, was an anole lizard. He was clinging to his little raft for dear life, and looked up at me with one, wet, unblinking eye. I carefully reached down and slid my hand under the piece of bark, and, letting the water run through my fingers, lifted the little guy out of the trough, and put him back on the tree he must have been blown out of. He ran quickly up the trunk and away from me without so much as a backward glance. “Thanks to you, too!” I laughed. So much for communication!
Later that night, I was searching the internet for May Day, thinking I might write a newsletter article about the May Pole I vaguely remembered from grade school days, when the computer took another route. Suddenly, I was learning all about the distress call “Mayday!” which Wikipedia says comes from the French venez m’aider, meaning ‘come help me.’ It said that Mayday is always called three times in a row, and is only to be used if a boat or plane or person is ” threatened by grave and imminent danger and immediate assistance is required.” such as a fire, explosion or sinking.
I thought of the anole, adrift on his water-trough ocean, and thought about how many times I have felt like I was right there with him! I thought about how many times in my life I have felt myself sinking, and have thrown my head back and screamed, “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” hoping that God was going to hear my voice communication and come help me! Many times, I wasn’t really in “grave and imminent danger” but it sure seemed like it! That is probably why the line from the hymn What Wondrous Love is this has always struck such a chord with me, especially at Easter: “When I was sinking down, beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.”
It’s scary to think of how many times I was in grave and imminent danger, and didn’t even realize it! How many times has God reached down, carefully lifted me out of danger and set me back on solid ground, and I scampered off, without even a backward glance – clueless? Certainly, no “Thank you, God!” for saving me.
In my saner moments, I recognize that that is what God did for me through Jesus, on the cross! He reached down and saved me, even before I knew I needed rescuing! Today, the cross is the raft I cling to on the stormy seas of life. I try not to send out the Mayday! call unless it’s really an emergency! And, I try to remember to thank God for all the times he has come to help me, even when I didn’t send out a very clear signal. “Thank you, God!” for rescuing me from a life or death situation! What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
May Day Blessings!
Pastor Barb <><
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. Psalm 69:1