Country Mouse Goes to Church
I attend a small country church that is situated on a hillside pretty far from town. A few years ago, prior to renovations and repairs to the structure, it was pretty basic in appearance. It was not out of the ordinary to find small critters of one kind or another within its walls. There were occasions of seeing lizards, centipedes, even a snake (ground rattler) once or twice.
So I thought I was experienced in "wildlife". One Wednesday night, I was sitting in church listening to the pastor present his midweek explanation of the scriptures. As I sat in my pew, I noticed a movement from the corner of my right eye. I turned my head ever so slightly, and saw something that looked like a mouse's tail. I looked again, just in time to see a small mouse streak around the front of our red padded altar and around to the left of the altar rail. Well, anyone who knows me well, knows I have a horror of rats and mice. It was usually an automatic response on my part to simply scream when I saw one of these 'little beasties" (dead or alive). I can recall many times, automatically clutching my chest and screaming. Well, there I sat in church. I saw the mouse, I clutched my chest, I opened my mouth, but the only sound I could produce was an audible gasp. No screaming, no squeaking, nothing.
Well, after services were concluded, several members crowded around me, wanting to know what was going on with me during church. As I explained what I had seen, I was enlightened as to what some of my fellow members thought was going on, at the time.
One lady heard my gasp and thought I was choking on a cough drop.
Another lady knew I had once attended a church where worship was quite an emotional event, and thought I was being overwhelmed "by the spirit".
A third individual saw me clutch my chest, and thought I was having a heart attack.
I told those who were present that I didn't understand why I stopped short of screaming. It had always been a reflex action, no matter where I was. But then the thought came to me: well, The Lord must have just clapped his hand over my mouth.
The pastor's wife later added to the story. She was sitting where she could see the mouse after he rounded the left corner of the altar rail. She said after he made it around the corner, he backed up and just sat there, watching him (the pastor) for a couple of minutes, then went on his way.
Although it is a funny memory for me, it also makes me think of the quote.....
"All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small_
All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all".