Love Notes:  Reflections from the Heart

I am not fond of mice. And living in the country, they are inevitable. But when I was serving the 1church in Crawfordsville, I learned the true meaning of the term “church mouse.” I opened my desk drawer one morning and found that my snack supply had been consumed, for the most part, by an invisible critter who had taken a few bites into this granola bar and a few bites into that package of crackers. The remains that our church mouse had left behind were not a pretty site. It was time to retaliate.

I had seen mouse traps before, but not the kind that have the sticky stuff in them. So I set one under my desk to see if the culprit would reappear. The next morning, I entered my study with great fear and trepidation at the thought of seeing the offender caught in the trap. “Lucky me,” I thought, as I sat down at my desk with no sign of my new friend. But I started to worry when I saw that the mouse trap was gone. I turned around and found that the mouse had scooted it all the way across the room and was stuck, although alive, its appendages flailing in the air! I took a pair of pliers, put the whole mess in a grocery bag and left it by the door for my husband to dispose of!

But then, I had my own personal encounter with a sticky trap, minus the mouse, that is! I wasn’t watching where I was going one morning and stepped right into the trap with my bare heel. The stuff in them is like Super Glue! So there I was in a panic, trying to get it off my foot. I finally peeled it off, limped down the stairs and found something to remove the glue from my sticky foot. Believe me, it took a lot to clean up my mess!

But this is a great opportunity to look closely at what it means to have a relationship with God. Are you starving for an encounter with God? Do you see yourself as the church mouse, trapped alive, arms and legs flailing, after having tasted sin? Or have you stepped right into the sticky trap yourself, bare foot and all, trying with all your might to release yourself from that which keeps you from receiving God’s love? But there is good news: God is ready to release us from the trap of sin. And we can be sure that God will clean up our messes, no matter how sticky they are. For that, friends, is what God’s love, grace, and mercy are all about.

Reverend Nancy Oehler Love, Honorably Retired, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Crawfordsville, Iowa