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Frog Kissin’

An old tale that we’ve all forgotten about.
Adapted by Fr. Joseph K. Horn

You know how we are told to love everybody? Well, one of the things we priests hear a lot is, “Father, my mother-in-law is a pain in the neck!” or “Father, my husband drives me crazy!” to which I used to always say, “Try to see Jesus in them,” to which they’d reply, “Ha! Easy for you to say! You don’t know my mother-in-law! She tries her best to be unloveable!” Which, I must confess, left me speechless; how does one go about seeing Jesus in people who seem hell-bent on not being like Jesus?

A few years ago, the answer came to me, believe it or not, while listening to a song by Ray Stevens, sung by Chet Atkins (imagine that!). (Right-click here and select “Save Target As” to download a 4.27 MB MP3 version of Chetís recording.) I was at once delighted and humiliated, because the song tells a story that we all heard when we were little children. We should all already know the answer to that difficult question; we should already know how to love unloveable people, because we learned it when we were kids:

It’s a story we have all known since we were children, but we have forgotten the moral of the story! Ladies and gentlemen, how many kisses did it take to turn that frog into a prince? Just one! How many people walked by that frog and heard it say, “Kiss me! I’m a prince!” and replied, “Yeah, right! You’re a frog! I’m not gonna kiss any frog! Prob’ly get warts on my lips! Bleh!”

But one princess saw the potential in that frog! She saw that that unloveable frog had a hidden loveable side, and the moment she expressed her love for him, BANG, the magic happened!

Well, guess what! The same thing is true of that unloveable person in your life! You are not the only person who finds them unloveable! Everybody walks by that frog and has the same reaction that you do! And that poor cursed soul is dying to have somebody, anybody, show just one little sign of affection. As Christians, it is not only our duty to love our enemies, but we can even love the unloveable curmudgeons and empower them to shine forth their hidden loveableness!

And that’s the secret of seeing Jesus in everybody! When you slow down, turn around, bend down, and kiss the frogs in your life, you will work magic far greater than merely revealing a handsome prince: you will see in them Jesus Christ our King!


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