Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nine Dead Mice

Something smelled funny under the stairs. We pulled out all the suitcases, tax records, and other odd things we stored under there, and found nothing. So we scrubbed and put everything back, hoping we’d solved the problem even though we didn’t know what the problem was.

Over the next few days, the smell grew stronger. We suspected there was a dead mouse in the wall. Since we live near woods and wetlands, we occasionally have one sneak in, especially in the fall. Since there was no way to reach it, we kept windows open, burned candles, sprayed Oust, and figured we’d have to wait it out.

But it grew worse.

So yesterday Ted pried off the wood paneling of the basement wall to expose the studs, while I stayed far away, and my fifteen-year-old son videotaped like a crime scene investigator.

Ted found the dead mouse. And eight mouse buddies, also deceased. Ew!

Besides giving me nightmares, the experience made me think. How often do I spray Lysol on my soul, hoping to disguise the stench? Do I try to clean under my stairs, figuring I’ve done all I can so it’s good enough? Only God can pry away the wall and expose the sin that is rotting away. Only His forgiveness can clean it out.

All right. It’s a disgusting (and true) story. But I think that’s why it struck me. Ted was very brave to tackle the decayed rodents. God is very brave to face the repulsive odor of sin—even more gross than nine dead mice—and restore me in love.

Lord, next time I catch a whiff of pride, a scent of a harmful habit, a sour smell of selfishness, remind me not to gloss it over. Remind me to let you pry back the walls and purify my heart.


Kelli Standish said...

And this is why we are friends. Your beautiful, amazing, glorious heart for God!

Thank you for this story, Sharon. It's a great reminder!


Cindy Thomson said...

Hey, Sharon. I thought I'd drop by. It's true that if you look hard enought, you find a lesson in every situation.