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Out in the Cold  

It has been an exceptional year for mice.

Out at the camper, we see them climbing outside here, there, and everywhere.  Last week, I yanked off the lid to the plastic garbage can that serves as our wood kindling stockpile and noticed a brown and beady eyed little fellow glaring up at me.  Nothing shy or flitty in his behavior. Fact is, he appeared angry that I’d blown his cover—literally.

In smacking the side of the trash can and wiggling it back and forth, I’m sure I gave his tiny ticker the closest thing to a heart attack a rodent can experience. 

Mice. There may be as many as 1300 different species of them. One observer suggests that though they are the tiniest of mammals, they are one of the most “successful” species in the world.  Talk about an understatement!

Somehow…somehow they manage to avoid predators like hawks, wolves, dogs and even larges spiders. Not to mention good ol’ cats.  And then they go on to have a zillion baby mice—all of whom survive, thrive and drive us crazy.

I once went to a concert at our church where the artist sang about a mouse he happened to see trying to sneak into his house.  It was late fall.  The temperatures had dropped and the guy almost took pity on the critter.  The song hook is worth noting:

All of creation’s your next of kin—

When you’re out in the cold and you want to come in.

So—it’s fall season.  I’m guessing that with very little effort, you could come up with a list of folks who are “out in the cold.”  People who, through bad luck or bad choices, are just not in a very good place.  I’m not simply talking about homeless people, though they surely deserve our compassion.

I’m talking about friends—maybe even family—who are emotionally out in the cold. They might have even less appeal than a furry mouse. Still, they want to come in.  Is your door open?  Is my door open?

The door to your home.  The door to your wallet.  The door to your heart.

Is it open?


Share your food with the hungry,

    and give shelter to the homeless.

Give clothes to those who need them,

    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

                                           --Isaiah 58:7


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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