This winter a family of very intelligent and incredibly persistent mice took up residence in our house. Despite sealing off sinks and other little nooks and crannies, the little boogers decided to find a nice little spot to chew through in the kitchen floor – over and over again. Needless to say, I’ve spent a good amount of the month jumping up on the bed yelping “Ahhhhhhh, mouse!” and/or running away in horror when I found one in my craft closet.
But the last straw was when we found two little “Christmas presents” on the bed where the baby sleeps. I will spare you the details.
Even though I come from a long line of hunters, I have ALWAYS had trouble killing anything. In fact, I love to fish but only if I can throw whatever I catch back. (Although I’m usually in no danger of that . . . my line usually ends up mangled in a tree.) I would even miss on purpose when the grownups took me squirrel hunting with a BB gun. Which brings me to my guilt, guilt, guilt.
After honest to goodness giving the mice a speech and pleading with them to leave, my kids thought I’d finally lost it. I don’t think I ever had it – but that’s a story for another day. “Go out into the world!” I shouted. “You are the chosen ones! Go warn your little ratty brothers and sisters that this is the day of salvation! Go! Save yourselves! I don’t want to have to hurt you but I will. Now, please, go make disciples of all nations.”
But after we put out rat poison, and believe me, we’ve tried the humane ways, I cried last night after seeing the bait empty. So somewhere in my house or outside of it is a little mousy that I murdered or worse . . . a little mousy marked for death.
I don’t know about ya’ll but guilt just might be a worse feeling than anger or sadness. Guilt is like a mix of every emotion but the worst part is how it sits in your spirit. It stirs up bubbles you never knew where there. You thought what you did wouldn’t bother you – until you did it. Now you’re soul feels tossed like a summer salad.
My guilt was over premeditated mousy homicide, but I’ve had the other kinds of guilt too. Guilt for losing my temper. Guilt for hurting someone’s heart. Guilt for disobeying God. Guilt for secrets. Guilt for a multitude of sins. That horrible feeling you get, that feeling where you can’t think of anything else – well that’s the bad thing about guilt. And somehow it’s the good thing too. That feeling is what stirs our hearts and encourages us to seek comfort and redemption from our Father, the only one able to take away that feeling and help us to make better decisions in the future.
Are you feeling guilty about anything today? When your heart stirs with that icky mixed up feeling, carry your guilt to the one who paid the ultimate price for it. In His arms is the comfort you seek and the promise of beauty for the ashes you’ve created.