Of Mice and Women

 I put my hand under a leaky water heater yesterday and pulled out what I thought was a soggy dead mouse. There is only so far you can hurl a little corpse in an enclosed room so my dryer felt the full force of the cranium shattering impact. On closer inspection it was indeed a water logged mouse but of the stuffed cat toy species. Whoever invented realistic rodent toys does not have pets of his own. Or no wife under his roof.

 I’ve had only two memorable experiences with the real thing. Once when my husband and I tried and tried to help a little guy escape from an enclosed porch so the cats wouldn’t find him. We accidentally squished him under the leg of a daybed. 

 The next time we thought the cat was acting more odd than usual, staring under various appliances off and on for several days. One night she caught the intruder and brought him to the bed. One impulsive kick and I sent kitty and very much alive mousie into space accompanied by a string of non-repeatable phrases. 

 Cats land on their feet.

Mice don’t. It was sufficiently stunned from its plummet back to earth for my husband to grab its tail and launch it on a new space voyage out the back door.

 That poor little critter. It’s not like I planned to behave with maniacal vengeance. He caught me by suprise and I reacted without thinking. I hope his tiny pea-brain will forgive me.

How often life catches us by surprise like that and we forego our neatly formulated scripts. We yell at our spouse, we snap at the kids, we kick the dog. It  isn’t our planned behavior so we apologize, vow to do better and trust in the power of forgiveness.

And when we are the airborn mouse? That’s when we have to pull forgiveness from our own pockets.

Forgive as we have been forgiven.

Forgive a repeat offender over and over, 70×7 even.

Forgive in order to receive forgiveness.

 Yikes. Jesus made it clear what His expectation entails. He didn’t say it was fair. Or easy.  But we win in the long run when we practice the mercy we need for ourselves.We find peace in our own souls with contentment, not with contention.

So rub the sore spot when you land then choose to practice the grace you want given to you. (And never seek refuge under the legs of a daybed).