Archive | April 2014

Meditation

I like to take a verse and meditate on it. One thought leads to another, and the result looks something like what follows:

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually. I Chronicles 16:11

Seek. Search. Look.

Seek, search, look for the Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood and died on the cross that I may be forgiven and have eternal life.

Seek, search, look for the strength of Jesus. The strength that endured the cross. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

Seek, search, look for the face of Jesus continually. Each and every moment, look for the face of Jesus. Look for His face in the face of every person. Look for the face of Jesus everywhere you go. Look for the face of Jesus in the dark of night and the light of day.

Good Friday Meditation

So much pain.

The pain of being betrayed.

The pain of being deserted.

The pain of being falsely accused. 

The pain of being scourged, mocked, beaten.

The pain of wearing a crown of thorns, knowing it should have been a crown of glory.

The pain of carrying a cross.  The pain of the nails pounded through hands and feet. 

The pain of the crucifixion.  

The pain of knowing many wouldn’t understand. 

The pain of knowing some would, yet still not believe.

The pain of knowing some would understand and believe, yet not be grateful enough to tell others.

So much pain.

 

So much love.

He loves betrayers, deserters, power hungry controllers and the cruel. 

He loves those who suffer, the slow of mind, the slow of heart and the slow of mouth.

 

So much pain.

The pain of other gods before Him.

The pain of seeing worship due Him given elsewhere.

The pain of hearing His name in curses and casualness.

The pain of unholy Sabbaths. 

The pain of the honorable unhonored.

The pain of murder, adultery, theft, lies and greed.

 

So much love.

No matter how many times we turn away, slight, ignore, insult, dishonor or profane,

He loves.

No matter three times or many times. He loves every time.

He loves the murderer, the adulterer, the thief and the liar.

He loves the greedy and the needy.

And He loves them all the same. 

Unconditionally, ruthlessly, jealously.

 

Only love can bear pain.

There has to be more love than pain.

The love has to be big enough to absorb the pain and continue as if it hadn’t been hurt.

We in our human minds are fond of expressing ratios. 

How can we express love:pain?

 

Infinite:Momentary.

Mice and Me

When I was growing up, I never really encountered any of the cute little creatures, except for Topo Gigio on the Ed Sullivan show whom I absolutely adored and hoped would be on every show.  My first experience with real mice was in college.  As a psychology major, we had the usual class where we had experiments about positive reinforcement.  So a classmate and I had a little white mouse we were responsible for and it didn’t bother me a bit.  I assumed I was afraid-of mice free.

A few years later, I was living with my parents in historic Pullman.  All the houses were attached, and our next door neighbor was doing some remodeling.  That’s why their mice decided to move to our house.  My fiancé and I were talking late one night at the kitchen table, when I saw several of the critters scurry across the floor.  Some woman let out a shriek, and I pointed in the direction they went.  My fiancé bravely leaped out of his chair expecting a large intruder of some kind, but couldn’t find a thing.  He turned back towards me to ask what in the world I’d seen and started to smile and tried very hard to keep from laughing.  I couldn’t understand what was so funny until I realized I was looking down at my 6’2” husband-to-be.  I have absolutely no recollection of jumping up on my chair.  A few days later, he gave me a present:  a t-shirt with (you guessed it) a mouse on it.  I can imagine him at the shop – “show me what you have in mice, please.”

While we were married, visiting mice were attended to by my husband.  He was working nights at the time, so when I discovered mice were feasting on the dog biscuits I kept under the sink, I posted a huge note on the cabinet door with “BIG MOUSE!” and the dog went without biscuits until I was assured the critter was gone and it was once again safe to open the cabinet.

For the five years I’ve lived in this house, mice were not an issue thanks to Buster Brown, an English Spring Spaniel and an excellent hunting dog.  Buster Brown died this summer however and the 15 ½ years of mouse-free living I’ve enjoyed thanks to his instincts came to an end.  I found droppings under the sink and bought a spring trap, but didn’t catch anything.  When I mentioned it to my friend (who shall remain nameless in order to protect her innocence), she said to get sticky traps, and assured me they were the best.  I laid out two, but wasn’t having much luck putting them in the right places.  Then one morning as I was eating breakfast at the kitchen table, I saw a mouse skitter under the pantry cabinet and turn right at the fridge.  Some woman let out a shriek that would have awakened Buster Brown from the dead, but at least this time I did not find myself standing on the chair.

Now I need to move the traps to either side of the fridge.  The fridge and the mouse are between the traps and me, and I have absolutely no desire to meet him face to face in the next 30 seconds.  So I stomp across the floor to let him know not to come out until I’m done, and I move the traps to either side of the fridge.  With a huge sigh of relief, I leave for work, confident a deceased mouse will await me when I get home.  Unfortunately, when I check the traps that night from the safety of the laundry room, they are unoccupied.

Early the next morning, I reach into the kitchen from the safety of the dining room and turn on the light.  Holding on to the door frame, I very slowly (very slowly) inch my torso around the panty cabinet to check the trap.  I see it’s not square to the fridge, meaning a mouse has traversed that way, and pop back into the dining room.  Keeping my feet as close to the dining room as I can, I bend in a just a teensy bit more and see two back mouse legs.  In the very next instant, I mysteriously find myself in the living room (just like a Star Trek sight-to-sight transfer, but much faster).  After some pacing, and reminding myself I have nothing to fear from a dead mouse, I take a deep breath, and zip through the kitchen to the safety of the laundry room where I can put on my rubber gloves keeping my back to the trap and its contents.

One more deep breath and I slowly turn around to find not a dead mouse, but the back end of a struggling one!  (My friend neglected to mention this possibility when she sang the praises of sticky traps.)  At least this time there was no shriek, just a loud audible gasp.  Now what?  There’s no way I am going to pick up a 4×4 inch square with a live mouse on it.  What I need is a 10 foot pole.   Shovel is the first thing that pops into my mind, but the garden tools are out in the shed and the snow drifts are three feet high.  Shovel, snow – snow shovel in the garage!  Too big.  Ah Ha!  The ice chopper!  Perfect!  I get the ice chopper and ready the garbage can in the garage, so I can do this in one fluid motion.

I hold on to the ice chopper as far back on the end of the handle as I can and still have control, slowly squat and work the blade under the trap.  So far so good.  Keeping my eye on the blade, the trap, and the backside of the mouse, I slowly and carefully back up to get to the laundry room, and then the garage and the garbage can.  Just as I’m about to turn and pivot the ice chopper towards the garage door, the little mouse turns and pitifully looks at me.  (My friend never mentioned this possibility either.)  At that moment, my soft heart vows to never again set out a sticky trap.  My soft heart also said “excuse me” later that morning when I bumped the garbage can getting out the power shovel to clear the driveway.

I can’t wait to get to heaven and see the video of this adventure.  I’m sure it’s going viral up there in the meantime.  By the way, just a few days earlier, I had mentioned to God I needed some fun in my life – be careful what you mention to Him in passing!

Postscript:  I want to praise and thank my heavenly Father, for when the title “Mice and Me” first popped into my head, my first thought was “I can’t write something light-hearted!” He proved me wrong, and once again answered my prayer for I had fun writing this piece!