When my wife Kaitlyn and I moved to Wilson, NC we found a great older house to live. We absolutely love it, but we are learning that houses come with their own sets of headaches. About a week ago, I saw a mouse scurry along our kitchen floor like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I hate pests and I hate rodents, so as good tenants we put out some sticky traps in our kitchen to catch this pest and get rid of him. Well, easier said than done. This morning, as I’m getting ready to get in the shower, Kaitlyn is screaming for help in the kitchen. A mouse had gotten stuck in one of our traps in the kitchen over night! I went down stairs to observe the scened as the tiny furry beast was squirming and attempting to break free as he sat in his own defecation.
As I observed the horrific situation, I did what any good 21st century husband would do and grabbed the iPad and googled how to resolve the situation and dispose of our trapped prey. The plan I came up with was simple. I would use these gigantic tongs to grab the paper, then I would place it in a garbage bag and then toss it out with the trash. Pretty simple right? Well in order to perform this task I needed the assistance of my wife Kaitlyn, to hold open the garbage bag as I grab the mouse to put him in there. So there we are, I am standing with my weapon of choice and my bride standing behind me with an opened garbage bag. As we get closer we see the little monster squirm for cover. For a second I think he is about to break free from his restraints. I fumble with the tongs, and I am unable to grab the paper. Kaitlyn is behind me screaming, “I’m going to throw up! I’m going to throw up!” As I struggle to grab this paper to dispose of the mouse, in the hysteria and adrenaline of the moment I take the tongs and just grab the body of the mouse itself! He squirms as I pinch him tightly with the metal tongs. He’s not going anywhere.
I turn around to dispose of him I see that my fearless assistant has now run out of the room screaming leaving a lifeless trash bag on the floor. As I stand there holding a live mouse with BBQ tongs and no where to put it, Kaitlyn begins to scream and cry hysterically, “I don’t want to do this!” I am furious, because she has abandoned the plan and I’m stuck holding this disgusting mammal as she runs to hide! Holding the mouse I jump to open the door, unlock our back door and get outside all while this mouse fights for his life to break free from my grasp. I open the door and fling the mouse and the sticky trap like a frisbee into the stoney walkway. I return inside to chew out my assistant only to find that she had gone upstairs and left me all alone. I take the trash bag left for me on the floor, go outside and dispose of this mouse once and for all.
Feeling pumped full of adrenaline and victory I take my weapon and clean my sword with the hose. “What a way to start the morning”, I thought to myself. The tongs couldn’t be spared so I tossed them in the trash with the mouse. As I go upstairs my wife’s horrid screams had now turned into laughter. As I tease her for her cowardice, I’m thinking, “This is going to make an incredible sermon illustration one day.” Now this story has no theological point or purpose yet, but if you were a pastor, how would you use this story as an illustration in your sermon? What is the lesson here? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.