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The Uninvited Guest

August 17, 2013

It was Lent…a busy season in the Church. A season of forty days that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with the celebration of the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

We, in our little country church, mark the season by hosting a soup suppers each Wednesday before our mid-week worship service. The confirmation students deliver the message through short skits.

On one particular Wednesday evening, we had an uninvited guest. Normally, we welcome everyone, but not so on this night…

The basement was abuzz with activity and the aroma of homemade soup and fresh bread filled the air. Many were waiting in line to fill their bowls.

We had several varieties from which to choose: Pam had not let us down…she brought her famous chicken and dumpling soup, with homemade dumplings. And Jean’s split pea with ham was in the line-up alongside Beth’s creamy wild rice. Rob brought his chili with grated cheese and sour cream. Kate’s Bavarian meatball stew was new this year.

People were milling about in the fellowship hall when out of nowhere ran the resident church mouse. He began zigzagging his way betwixt the mass of shuffling fee… some shuffling decidedly faster than others upon discovery of the rodent.

The mouse ran around the toe of Sam’s left white Reebok and dodged behind his right heel before he made a mad dash for the safety of the Sunday School closet.

During the melee, a few children hid behind their parents while others perched themselves upon chairs and drew their legs up beneath them. Women stifled shrieks of surprise, or maybe fear.

Finally, a quick thinking diner grabbed an empty trash can and went after the uninvited guest. He inverted the can and clapped it down over the long-tailed intruder with the agility of a pro-football quarterback.

With the threat contained, several of the men folk gathered around to decide just how to go about returning the mouse to the great outdoors.

‘Maybe slide the can to the door and release him that way…that might work,’ said one.

‘Hmmm…he might run right back into the church, though,’ replied another.

‘Yeah, that’s a possibility.’

Soon, someone found a thin sheet of something…maybe cardboard, and slid it beneath the can, imprisoning the mouse within.

The men discussed the best way to escort the captive mouse in his makeshift abode out of the building.

After a few minutes, they sent a gangly teen ahead to open wide the back door while one man held the cardboard tight to the can and another pressed the can down firmly to the cardboard as they walked side by side out the door and some distance away from the building before lowering the contraption to the ground and releasing its resident.

The men received a rousing cheer when they came back inside, and everyone insisted that they go to the front of the line.

Lively dinner table conversation followed…Sam was overheard saying that he considered stomping on the rodent when it was running around his feet. He decided against it, not wanting to traumatize the children.

 

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