All this ‘trouble’ just to locate some mousetraps!

Let My Laughter Resound!


ALL THIS ‘TROUBLE’ JUST TO LOCATE SOME MOUSETRAPS!

There are some ‘basic correlations’ that we humans take ‘for granted’. If there is a ‘head’ then there (logically) is a ‘hat’. If there are hands, then there are ‘gloves’. If there is a ‘plate’, then there is food. If there is a ‘running uniform’, then there is a track running trail. If there is a ‘violin’, then there must be a violinist. If there is a Toyota car, then there must be a driver.

These most basic correlations are obvious to any thinking person! Many objects or persons are involved in the dynamics of ‘correlations’. One ‘thing’ calls for the involvement of another thing, and the two things together are in a complementary relationship.

What is the basic complement to a ‘pesky scampering mouse’? Of course, a mouse trap! In our house (a few years ago), we had one side of the equation – we had the presence of ‘pesky mice’ – but we did not have the presence of the other side of the equation. We did not have, on hand, any mouse trap!

One night, with the recognition that we did not have one side of the equation (namely, mouse traps), my dear wife sent me on a ‘mission’. I was to go to some store to find and to purchase some mouse traps! An important mission, for, you see, my (courageous) wife is ‘deathly afraid’ of those elusive mice. Years before this time (when she and I were quite young), my wife and a lady friend of hers, were terrified with the presence of a little mouse which was running around in our kitchen.

My wife called a neighbor man, and he and his wife came to our house to do ‘battle with the little mouse’! My wife and the wife of this neighbor man (a long-time friend) – these women were ‘frightened in an unexplainably manner’ (beyond reason) – and the wife of the neighbor ended up on top of my dining room table! The neighbor man chased the mouse with a broom, and the human finally ‘conquered’ God’s miniature creature!

What is there about mice that send panic to the heart of so many people? To look at the motions of fear, you would think that these panic-stricken persons were being attacked by angry lions, rather than by harmless mice!

There is a hardware store, located about one mile from my home – a good place to fulfill my ‘personal and important mission’ – to purchase some mouse traps!

It was about 7:00p.m., later than a store would normally be open, but I noticed that there were some bright lights, emitting a warm glow within this inviting store. I was rather delighted that the store was still open. Surely, it would be an easy task for me to quickly purchase a few ‘mouse killers’ (mouse traps).

I would go into the store – a store that I enjoyed often to go into – and I would quickly exit, and I would be on my way home to present these ‘mouse contraptions’ to my wife! I could hear my wife say to me, as I entered the ‘front door’ of my house, that she was so grateful to me for going out into the night air, to show my concern for her (to save her from those pesky little creatures)!

As I opened the front door of this familiar hardware store, I was glad that it had not yet closed, that business hours were later than I realized! I was not aware of the opening and the closing time for this fine store, but, since I entered the front door of the hardware store at about 7 p.m., I assumed that the store closing time must be later in the evening, maybe 8 p.m. or even 9 p.m.!

When I entered the front door, and I walked over to the front counter (close to the front door), something struck me as rather ‘odd’ (even strange). Some of the bright lights in the store were turned on, but other lights in the store were not turned on. The front lights (where I was standing) were turned on. But, strangely, the entire center of the store was dark (with no lights turned on). Then, I noticed that the lights in the back of the store (far from where I was standing) were turned on. In other words, the front and the back of the store was brightly lite, but the entire center of the store was very dark, with no lights shining!

I thought to myself, since there was no one to wait on me at the ‘checkout counter’, in the front of the store, that possibly there were one or two store employees working in the back of the store. I thought it was strange that no one (from the back of the store) would come to the front of the store to ‘wait on me’, to help me find some mouse traps!

These ‘various perplexing questions’ (conjectures of my mind) lasted for only a few seconds (maybe one minute). Then ‘shock of all shocks’, an ’emotional-shattering’, ‘ear-ringing’ alarm sounded off in the store! I immediately realized that I was alone in this store! This store was closed for business! I had no employees in the store to ‘wait on me’. I was all by my lonesome in this mainly darkened store. The shrill sound of the alarm, combined with the eerie feelings that crept over me, at that time, made me feel that I was in the middle of an ‘angry nightmare’!

The sound of the alarm made me feel like I was a robber, a thief who needed to run and to hide – but where could I run to, and how could I hide? I couldn’t get out of the store! I was, indeed, trapped in a store! Would the police consider me to be an abandoned robber? And this entire hair-raising event because I was trying to be ‘good’ to my wife, simply trying to find her some mouse traps! The door I came into the store, that same door (which I ‘tried’ to open) would not allow me to exit the store! I was trapped!

How did I ever get myself into such a predicament? I went time after time to the front door (the door I entered), and the door would not swing outward to release me from my panic and my ‘bondage’! I felt so lonely, so defenseless, so detected, so guilty, so confused, so exposed! I was ‘at the mercy’ of the police! Would they accept my alibi?

I thought that I probably was pinpointed for an arrest! Surely the police would understand that I found the front door of the hardware store open, and that I assumed that the store was open for business!

After all, some of the lights (particularly the front end store lights) were shining brightly, and those lights naturally ‘invited’ me into the store.

After I got into the store, I was ‘trapped’, for the door through which I entered the store, swings in only one direction. It is an entrance door, but not an exit door! I thought that if they arrested me for being in this privately-owned store, I would present to them these logical arguments! Surely, with these facts in mind, any fair-minded police officer would ‘buy my story’!

It was a frightening thought to me to quickly conclude that I came into this store, thinking that the store was open for business!

As just noted, during my moments in which I felt considerable ‘panic’, I repeatedly went to the same door through which I had entered a few minutes before this time. When I pushed on the door, hoping to quickly exit the store, I found that the door did not permit me to exit. It was a door to be used for entrance into the store – entrance only!

I was trapped inside this store! The shrill-sounding alarm continued to sound off! That shrill sound, blasting my ear drums, sent ‘chills down my spine’. I tried to use that same door again and again, but to no avail! Yes, there was no way for me to exit this hardware store – the very store to which I had often given my business!

Because the store was located, amidst several other stores, in a small ‘shopping center’, I now hoped that I could ‘get the attention’ of some persons who were outside of the store, just walking by. I waved my hands, hoping that at least one of the few walking persons would notice my desperate situation. But, to my dismay and to my frustration, not a single soul noticed my waving hands!

Different thoughts were racing through my mind, but I knew that I was penned (trapped) in this hardware store! I knew that I needed to get word to my wife, but how could that be done? Then, I happened to look at the ‘check out’ counter, and (fortunately/providentially) I noticed the presence of a telephone.

I wondered if I could get through to my wife, to let her know about this strange set of circumstances. No, I couldn’t tell her that my mission (to find mouse traps) was accomplished, but I could ask her to fulfill another mission – the mission of helping to get me out of my present terrible ‘mess’!

I called her, and she, of course, could hardly believe my ‘story’. No, it is not a ‘prank’ – this is the ‘real thing’. Venita quickly phoned the ‘police department’, and she told them about the details of my ‘predicament’. The policeman who talked to Venita was understanding and he was glad that she quickly called the police department. At that very time (as Venita was talking to the police officer), there were several police officers who were ‘on their way’ to the store!

If Venita would have waited much longer to call, there would have been a small group of police officers who would have shown up at the store – to talk to me! Venita ‘saved the day’ (night), and she also saved me from further ‘challenges’! I was nervous enough! Can you imagine how fast my heart would have ‘beat’, if a group of police officers would have surrounded me – in the premises of that store!

Would they have believed me, if I would have told them that I (innocently) had been on a ‘mission’ to purchase mouse traps? I only wanted to be a ‘good husband’ and to fulfill my assignment (mission) – to find some armament to battle a ‘pesky creature’ that brought ‘fright’ to my lovely wife, every time she saw one of those creatures run across her kitchen floor!

I did not know about the oncoming ‘small force’ of police officers who were ‘on their way’ to evaluate the situation at the hardware store. I don’t know, of course, but I suppose that my arrest could have been one of the options, when the police arrived at the store!

It was not too long until one police officer kindly came to the front door of the hardware store. He quickly opened the door to release me! How grateful I was to see him. He brought words of comfort and encouragement and understanding to me. A very kind man, as well as a responsible police officer, I was grateful for his ‘human touch’ and his kind words!

It was sweeter than my words can describe to be released from my ‘temporary prison’! It seemed like a long time, but, in reality, it might have been only a half hour that I was in the hardware store. Time, in those circumstances goes so slowly! After I left the confines of that store, to breath the ‘fresh night air’ was ‘heavenly’! I resumed my ‘mission’, I forthrightly went to another store in the area (a store that stays open all night), and I purchased those coveted ‘mouse traps’!

My wife’s sister (who was Venita’s companion for the entire evening), was determined, as soon as I made the phone call to my wife in the middle of the crisis, to go to the store, and to attempt to give me some ‘comfort’ while she stood outside of the store window (where she could view my inside predicament). It was while she was in the process of showing actions of compassion towards me, that Venita had made the call to the police department.

By the time that my sister-in-law got to the hardware store, I had already been ‘released’ by the police officer. The police officer was still at the front door of the store (probably to block any other person from entering the store), when my sister-in-law arrived at the store. My sister-in-law could not find me (for I had gone to another store to fulfill my ‘important mission’)! The police officer quickly assured my kind sister-in-law that I had been successfully rescued!

I returned to my home (with a sack full of mouse traps), and my sister-in-law came back to our home. Of course, my wife (who was attending to some elderly persons) never left our home. (As usual, however, my wife – a great problem-solver – helped solve the problem of that night, by calling the police department)! The three of us (adults) recounted the episode (inch by inch), and we had lots of laughs that night. We greatly enjoyed drinking hot chocolate together!

We have occasionally laughed since that historic night! When I often enter the front door to enjoy that hardware store, I chuckle inside myself. Was I the only naive soul that night who thought the store was open?

I never ‘dreamed’ that carrying out the mission of purchasing some mouse traps could involve so many complications (i,e. so many ‘twists’ and ‘turns’) in one night – a night that was supposed to be uneventful!

In the ‘battle with the mice’, the mice almost got the ‘upper hand!’ Do you suppose those ‘pesky, miniature, elusive, beasts’ are gathered together in their dark corner, and do you think that they are making music with their special ‘squeals’ – glad that some human ‘had fits’ trying to find those ‘mouse killers’? The battle between humans and the mice is a perpetual and a continuous battle! How ‘nerve-wracking’ it was to fulfill that important ‘mission’ – to find some ‘mouse killers’!

Have you ever wondered why God – the Creator God – decided to make these little ‘pesky’ creatures? Well, I will never know, but I also know that God makes no mistakes. There is a ‘reason’ for all things, in God’s own ‘season’! Maybe these little creatures teach a panic-stricken woman (who wants to climb on top of a dining room table when she sees a mouse heading for her) – I say, maybe these mice teach a woman who is panic-stricken, to ‘calm down and to trust the Creator’! After all, maybe there are some persons who want to laugh while they watch the ‘little creatures’ running and scampering – to and fro – in their garage! “Everyone to his own taste!” Ecclesiastes (Bible): “There is a time and a place for everything!

ls there a ‘time’ and a ‘place’ for God’s little furry creatures (mice)? Probably so, but it seems, however, for most of us (sensible) human beings, there is no place for mice, either in our garage, or in our kitchen, or in our living room, or in our bathroom, or in our office, or in our attic, or in our basement, or on our table, or underneath our couch!

I am willing for the little fuzzy, elusive creatures to live – but I think that they should live where I think God intended for them to live – in the fields of the countryside! Not in our houses!

If there were no little, quick-moving creatures that we call mice, I would never have to go on a mission to purchase ‘mouse traps’ – and I would never mistakenly go into a hardware store, when it is closed! I would never have to have a near ‘nervous breakdown’ when a shrilling alarm blasts my ear drums inside a store that I have no ‘business’ being in! O, the trials of life – all for the purpose of ridding my home of that furry little, fast running creature!


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

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“Don’t look….don’t look!”

Let My Laughter Resound!


“DON’T LOOK….DON’T LOOK!”

Many years ago, when my wife and I were in our middle 30’s, after some contemplation and consideration, we decided to make an investment in real estate. Through the last three (and more) decades we have had many pleasant relationships with a lot of tenants. Of course, our experiences with tenants have not always ‘worked out’, but, for the most part, our experiences have been pleasant with tenants.

As is true of all landlords, there have been times when it was not very easy to find good tenants. Vacancy is, obviously, not what a landlord desires, but, worse yet, a landlord finds it difficult to deal with an irresponsible tenant (one who does not pay his rent on time, or one who is reckless in the use of the property).

On one of many other similar occasions, I was having a difficult time finding a good tenant for a certain property (duplex property). Venita and I believed that the property we were attempting to rent, was a ‘good’ property. Not a new property, but, nevertheless, a ‘clean’ and comfortable unit – a unit that we believed would ‘suit’ the need of some good tenant.

But, try as I did, I was not yet successful in ‘landing’ a good tenant! I think I had ‘shown’ the property to a few potential tenants, but no one yet was interested.

Then I got a call on the phone from a woman – a middle-age, single woman – and I arranged to meet her at the particular property. I showed her the inside of the property, and she seemed to be impressed with what she saw. She asked a certain question, the answer to which I gave with a spirit of confidence. She asked me if the neighborhood was a ‘safe’ neighborhood. Of course, I answered in the affirmative!

We walked outside, and she and I had a pleasant conversation. I was confident that, finally, I would have a person who would ‘sign up’ to rent the duplex apartment. I was so hopeful that I would no longer have to ‘search’ for a good tenant. I thought that this woman was going to be, not only our new tenant, but, possibly, a new friend (for we enjoyed it when some of the tenants became our casual friends).

We stood together on the sidewalk, in front of the duplex. We were standing, at a slight angle. My head was facing the duplex. Her head was facing the street. As I recall, this woman needed reassurance that this neighborhood was, indeed, a ‘safe’ neighborhood! Of course, I reassured her that this neighborhood was a ‘safe’ neighborhood!

The longer I live, the more I have noticed that our personal life experiences, from time to time, have some ‘sharp curves’, even some unexpected ‘pit falls’! As this woman and I were carrying on a pleasant visit (a specific visit about the virtues of this duplex, in which she showed some interest in renting), I say, while this woman and I were carrying on a pleasant visit, a ‘shock of shocks’ happened!

Suddenly, and ‘out of the blue’, this woman shouted to me, ‘Don’t Look! Don’t Look!’ I had no idea why this woman, with great emotional exclamation, was telling me ‘not to look’!

Obviously, from where she was standing, she was seeing something that I was not seeing! I couldn’t understand why she was so excited and so troubled! Of course, the very thing that she told me not to do, I did. I looked in her direction! I wanted to see whatever it was that she was seeing! What in the world was giving her such discomfort, such distress, such alarm?

When she cried out with such alarm and with such distress, I quickly turned in her direction! I then realized why she was deeply distressed, why her pleasant conversation with me had suddenly turned to words of total distress.

Along with her, I viewed a sight that, indeed, was distressing and very troubling! Across the street (and two houses down) there this ‘proper lady’ and I had our eyes fixed on the figure of a man who was exposing his totally nude body, in front of a large picture window!

This person, from a distance, of perhaps 30 yards from our position, appeared to be a large man, very muscular in build, very ‘hairy’ (like an ape, in my opinion). He was defiantly looking at this woman, and he was swaying back and forth with his entire body, with no shame at all in his demeanor. He, obviously, wanted to shock this woman, and, of course, he succeeded in his devious plot. He smiled at us, as he continued his shameful behavior!

Everything I confidently enunciated to my potential tenant, regarding a ‘safe’ neighborhood, ‘went out the window’. The sight of this evil man – this licentious man – destroyed every ‘case’ that I made, regarding this being a ‘good’ neighborhood!

I could say nothing to this woman, to persuade her that, obviously, the antics of this ‘hairy’ man – this man who ‘got his kicks’ from swaying in front of a window ‘in his birthday suit’ – was a ‘strange rarity’! It would do me no good to tell this prospective tenant that nothing like this had ever happened before, during all the previous years since I purchased this ‘fine duplex’!

After she saw this ‘trickster’ – this nude man who swayed in front of a picture window – I had no chance to convince this woman that (in spite of this shocking sight), the neighborhood was, indeed, ‘safe’! No chance for any further conversation. Our talk was over! I might as well ‘save my breath’!

As soon as she and I laid our eyes upon this ‘gross man’ for a few seconds, she quickly got in her car, and off she went! I lost a potentially ‘good tenant’, all because the ‘timing in life was lousy’! Why did that ‘ape-looking’ man have to appear, just when I was ready to ‘make a deal’ – to finally find a good tenant?

Because of a set of ‘unbelievable’ circumstances (the intrusion of a ‘licentious act’), I lost another possible tenant! All my efforts with this woman (showing the duplex, talking with her) were ‘down the drain’. As a believer, I knew that I had to ‘forgive’ this ‘evil dude’ from across the street, and I knew that, in spite of this shocking event, I had to ‘pick myself up’ as a landlord, and I knew that I must continue to seek the right tenant!

ls it possible to ‘laugh’ when our earnest efforts (on a legitimate project) ‘go south’ (when they fail)? We, of course, never condone acts of evil (like the appearance of a nude man), but, nevertheless, I think it is possible to discover a ‘layer of humor’ even when events (like this strange one) are not ‘righteous’, in and of themselves.

Even though, obviously, the potential tenant (the woman) saw nothing but ‘horror’ in the sight of the nude man, I (as a man) saw beyond the obvious ingredients of evil in the event, and I could not help but be amused with the sight of this swaying, nude man.

Amusement sometimes comes when one views sights and sounds that are beyond the ‘pale of decency’ (events that are odd and strange and ‘unexpected’ and ‘out of place’ and ‘out of order’ and ‘unnatural’ and ‘foolish looking’ and ‘childish’ and ‘uncomely’ and ‘unappealing’).

Without, the least approving his behavior, I do think that his tragic behavior, matches most (perhaps all) of the above descriptions. And, in that sense, even though he is a pathetic man (who needs our prayers), he is, in some ways, a ‘laughable person’!

With needed reflection on this strange scene, I found myself ‘humored’ (with even some laughter) because of the horror that the woman suddenly demonstrated when she saw this totally unexpected sight! She, doubtless, had never seen such a stark sight of a brazen and bold and shameless (naked) man!

The way she communicated to me (‘don’t look’!) was her way of shielding me from a sight that was repulsive and unbelievable and most embarrassing! As if I would not look! She probably knew (as a ‘proper lady’) that she would be further embarrassed if I (standing beside her) would look at this nude man!

‘Implicit laughter’ is laughter that comes as a result of discovering the deeper layers of laughter that are hidden in one of the elements (details) in any particular ‘event’. No, we believers should never find humor (laughter) in the ‘evil’ in any event, but, nevertheless, there may be hidden layers of laughter, even within an event which is basically evil in nature. Sometimes, there is to be found some elements of humor (even laughter) in what would be considered an ‘evil event’.

I find myself enjoying a little ‘laughter’ (in some elements) of the event that probably will never be repeated during my lifetime – the distress of a potential tenant, the shocking appearance of an ‘ape-like’ naked man, swaying back and forth in front of a picture window, smiling all the time while he is doing this, shamelessly exposing himself for the pleasure he is receiving from his antics, doing everything he can to embarrass and to shock a strange (respectable) woman who happens to be standing beside me!

Of course, the above description is the description of a man who, obviously, does not have a strong drive in his life to please his Creator! But, when one combines the ‘shock reaction of the woman’ with the antics of the ape-like man, with the ‘blowing away’ of my chance to rent the duplex, with the quick ‘shattering’ of my argument that the neighborhood was ‘safe’, with the immediate departure of the woman in her car – these are ‘unexpected reversals’ that make this ‘strange event’ pregnant with ‘humor’ and ‘laughter’!


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

Did Jesus laugh with ‘laughing children’?

Let My Laughter Resound!


DID JESUS LAUGH WITH ‘LAUGHING CHILDREN’?

Apparently Jesus loved to play with little children, and some of them likely sat on his lap, He observed the play of little children so much that He used some of the antics (actions) of the children’s playing, to illustrate profound truths regarding the kingdom of God (in some of His parables)!

Jesus once said that if a person does not have the simplicity and humility and faith of a little child, that person cannot enter the kingdom of God. Jesus loved children very much, and He liked the way children expressed their simple faith and their unquestioning trust in others. Jesus believed that important lessons – lessons with eternal significance – could be learned, by a careful observation of little children (during their play times).

Do you think that Jesus could spend time with children, talking to them and perhaps even playing with them, and allowing them to sit on his lap, without, at times, laughing with them? I personally think that the portrait of Jesus (with His head bent back and with his mouth wide open in a ‘hearty laughter’), I say, I think that this portrait accurately conveys the kind of person that Jesus was, while He ministered here on earth.

Of course, a portrait of Jesus with tears streaming down his cheeks (while he weeps over Jerusalem) is an equally accurate picture of Jesus. Jesus, like all disciples of Jesus, both wept and laughed. But, why is the portrait of Jesus (which I cherish in my office) so rare?

I suppose, because of the seriousness of Jesus’ life, and because of the gravity of the mission that Jesus had here on earth, it is difficult for us (conscientious believers) to entertain the ‘thought’ (belief) that Jesus, at times, was the ‘laughing Son of God’!

Can God (in the person of Jesus) actually laugh a lot at a wedding party? Can God (in the person of Jesus) actually take time (out of His busy schedule) to laugh and to laugh with a group of little laughing children who are gathered around Him?

Can God (in the person of Jesus) actually and intentionally use ‘humor’ in the messages that He preached along the shore of the Sea of Galilee? (“You strain at gnats, while you swallow camels!” – how could any listener of Jesus keep a ‘straight face’ when he heard that statement, for the first time?).


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!