Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Mouse Is Responsible

I came across a news item that began thus:
"A mouse is responsible for triggering a stampede in a mosque 
in the Moroccan city of Casablanca 
which left more than 80 people injured, officials say."
It went on to say, "Worshippers were reported to have fainted 
after a mouse crossed over a woman's foot while she was praying, 
causing her to rush outside and creating panic among worshippers."

We had a mouse problem in a former house.
They had grown bold, and ran right across the living room while we were in it.
One night, my husband was sitting on the floor, and a mouse ran past him.
Without thought, his hand flew at it, and it was knocked out.
In fact, it might have died instantly.
He picked it up by the tail and flushed it down the toilet.
A mouse is a slappable fear.
A flushable fear -- until we let it stampede us.
Because our stampeding can crush real lives.
The stampede was what injured the crowd.
Have you ever been stampeded by a mouse?

I fight fear.
Crippling fear, at times.
Gut-wrenching, knee-shaking fear.
Stampeding fear.
One way I fight it is to let it knock me down,
and then I pray there.
I try swallowing it, sometimes, but it comes back up.
I feel my heart swell and pound,
and my resolve turn to Jello.
And my thoughts race to a bunker filled with organic canned goods
and solar-powered electronics
and books
and gold pieces
and plenty of yarn to knit.
But then what?
I don't want to live in the bunker.
So I drop down again on the weak knees, and let myself say it all there.
All the fears,
and the griefs for things that are someone else's reality that I can't fix.
The distress over world affairs that are so wrong.
They're so, so wrong.
They are sickeningly, damningly wrong.
And the good guys are only half as guilty...

Back to my knees.
Lord, You had mercy on the children in Nineveh.
You were willing to rescue Lot's daughters from Sodom. 
There is no hope in us... but YOU are merciful. 

Peter said things to women that jump out at me and run through my mind:
"...your pure behaviour in fear
whose adorning--let it not be that which is outward, 
of plaiting of hair, 
and of putting around of things of gold
or of putting on of garments, 
but--the hidden man of the heart
in the incorruptible thing of the meek and quiet spirit
which is, before God, of great price
for thus once also the holy women who did hope on God
were adorning themselves, being subject to their own husbands, 
as Sarah was obedient to Abraham, 
calling him `sir,' of whom ye did become daughters, doing good
and not fearing any terror."

He mentions faultless behavior in fear,
but then says not fearing any terror.
Not put to flight by fear.
Perhaps a faultless response to fear 
is not to surround ourselves with gold and garments,
but to stock up on meekness and a quiet spirit.
That's rich currency with God.
Holy women hope on Him.
They dress themselves in obedience.
They do good in the very face of the fear.
And they are not stampeded.