Saturday morning found me sitting at my garden table enjoying a nice cup of coffee and watching my cat, Bubu, hunt for mice in the flower bed. Amused, I even took his picture and posted on Facebook: “Be very very quiet, I’m mousie hunting”.
The excitement began about 15 minutes later when my husband came out of the house and I walked in. It was in that moment when Bubu jumped down from the flower bed with mouse in mouth and marched proudly into the house with his new catch. “NO NO NO” I screamed, turning just in time to see it. This made him panic and run past me into the living room, drop the mouse on the floor and look at me as if to say “WHAT?!!” In the meantime the mouse runs for cover and the next 45 minutes resembled a circus act in our house, complete with high pitched screams as the mouse once ran across my foot.
Seeing it was clear the mouse would not be immediately caught, a good portion of the rest of that morning was spent sealing underneath the pantry door with a towel and then making a trip to Lowe’s for live mouse traps, which we then baited and set. We didn’t want to kill the poor thing, it wasn’t his fault that he got brought into the house! So then we sat and waited… and waited… and waited. Convinced I had done all to ensure the only way the mouse would get something to eat was to crawl inside of the trap, I googled to see how long a mouse can live without food and found the answer to be 3 to 4 days. Wow!
Late Tuesday night the sound came that we had been waiting for. A scrambling noise came from downstairs in the kitchen. Bubu, who had been dutifully patrolling since Saturday morning, comes running up the stairs making muffled noises to announce the fugitive had been caught. Oh NO! I turned to look and what do I see, he has it in his mouth! BUUUU BUUU!!! Chancing that Bubu would not drop the mouse, my husband thought quick enough to pick him up and run into the hall bathroom. I closed the door behind him and grabbed a towel to seal the bottom of the door.
“It’s okay”, my husband said, “you can open the door and come in. The mouse is dead”.
We later determined the mouse must have been near death from starvation by the time Bubu finally got a hold of him, because there was no blood or wounds showing.
One other thing I sadly observed was that if the mouse had only made the choice to walk into the trap, he would have not only found a meal waiting, he would have been set free outside afterwards. Instead, he chose to live in fear and starvation for 3 1/2 days, and die without ever knowing freedom hinged on a simple choice.
As my husband and I talked about that we both thought of how much like life that is. People who are trapped in their environment of sin and shame often live out their entire lives in fear and spiritual starvation, only to die in the process. Sometimes freedom can look really scary, like a set of restrictions that represents anything but. Instead of making the choice that leads to life, we either choose not to make a choice at all, or we make the wrong choice, and both lead to death instead.
The lesson I learned from the mouse in the house? CHOOSE LIFE!
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:19