Did I tell you about the varmint?? Living kind of out in the country, we know there are mice around. But 'mice' is another topic altogether. For about a month last summer we knew there was something bigger than a mouse around the premises - there was evidence.
We tried night after night to catch the creature with no luck. As disturbing as it was, it seemed to really like our barbeque. One night we set four mouse traps and one very large rat trap, complete with peanut butter, all in a row under the barbeque. We were sure that this time we would be successful. Within half an hour we heard the snaps of traps being set off, just like the sound of machine gun fire, followed by all kinds of clatter outside the kitchen window. We rushed out, flashlight in hand, to find all traps set off but no sign of the intruder. Surely it was wounded, somewhere near. But no. Hmph! He did leave the barbeque area though. Another time, as cruel as it may seem, we set a very sticky paper trap out and came home to find 4" of someone's gray fluffy tail stuck to the paper! (We were afraid it was one of the kittens' tails, but checked and they all still had their tails. And that's another thing - at the time, we had mother cat, six kittens and another adult cat. The - whatever it was - didn't seem the least bit nervous of all the cats. Maybe they were nervous of it! Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, we have no cats - there are coyotes and eagles out in the country. Sigh.)
Success! By googling 'gray fluffy tailed rat', we discovered that we were up against a bushy tailed wood rat. Within a short time after a trip to purchase a trap guaranteed to successfully trap these creatures, we finally caught the poor thing. It couldn't resist the apple pieces in the trap. I say 'poor thing' because it was actually quite cute sitting there with little round ears and shiny black eyes. I have a great aversion to rodents, just ask my son, but if you happen to google it, then click on images, you'll see what I mean. I'll leave its demise up to your imagination. It had to do with water and a wheelbarrel =/
So, how do I make this experience appropriate for a church blog? Hmm... well, maybe it's like sin that shouldn't be in your life. It does all kinds of damage, in subtle ways and not so subtle ways. A not so subtle evidence of damage in this experience was the whole wiring system of Ian and Anni's SUV that was chewed to bits and had to be replaced. It was under the hood and not noticeable until a red light on the dash came on. The mechanic said it was a total wonder the vehicle kept running at all. And we had driven to Vancouver and back like this! (We still feel really bad that this happened while we were borrowing their vehicle. We still owe them a few dinners out to the Keg or somewhere nice since they wouldn't take a penny.) Even more damage: I also noticed about 6-8" of the front black thing under the front bumper of my little Honda all gnawed with chew marks all over it. Apparently, this type of rubber and plastic is like candy to them. Sometimes in the middle of the night we would hear things banging and falling out in the shop, immediately thinking it was a burglar, then realizing it was 'the creature'. There was not one area of the shop that didn't have evidence on it. So there was a cost. There are definitely consequences and costs involved where there is sin too.
Another 'spiritual' example could be how God takes care of us. My husband, David, was never all the things that I would have been without him to deal with this as I watched. He was never fearful or discouraged or depressed all the time we couldn't catch the rat. He was just more determined, said there is always a way or a solution to any problem. He was calm, in fact, I think he enjoyed this challenge, if you can believe it. David is awesome :) God is even more awesome because He is God! God is patient and loving and kind and always has the right answer to any problem, big or small. I am so blessed by them both!