What a weird last few days I have just experienced.
A couple of days ago, I was happily sitting on my sofa in the living room watching some telly, and I thought I saw something move right in front of me on the floor. We have been in that house for 15 years and so having never had any out of the ordinary experiences whilst living there, actually we have had a few of those but that is a whole new post and something I am not sure I want to share. What I mean is that nothing has ever happened at our house which stands out in my memory as nasty or the stuff of horror movies. That evening, I had had one glass of wine, which is normally all it takes for me to get the giggles and start acting a bit silly, and so when I saw this thing move in front of me I dismissed having seen anything and put it down to the glass of wine. The following evening as I was sitting on that same sofa I saw it again: this little terrified face staring straight at me. As we made eye contact, I froze as much as the mouse did and judging by my reaction I would say I was the one who was most shocked and frightened. The mouse turned round and disappeared under another sofa as fast as he had come out. It is only a mouse, right? How can such a minute, harmless creature create such fear and trembling? How will I ever become a mighty warrior for Christ if I cannot even maintain eye contact with a country mouse?
Since November 2008 we have been collecting food for the homeless at our house from over 70 families in our village, some of them come to our church but many don’t. They deliver food to our house weekly which we normally deliver to the Salvation Army every Saturday, but sometimes for whatever the reason we may not take it down for two weeks or so. This was such an occasion. All that lovely food sitting in our living room floor , in particular some curry flavoured rice packet had attracted the attention of our unwanted visitor. We still don’t know how the mouse got into the house, but being so small, we do have our suspicions as to the different ways he may have got in. After all we live in the countryside and one cannot expect to enjoy such beautiful surroundings and not come across wildlife, right? The problem is in these last five days, our house has been literally invaded by wildlife, but wildlife of the “unwanted” kind, the kind that has a negative stigma attached to it, the kind that millions fear as a result of irrational phobias, the kind associated with evil and horror movies. The day after discovering the mouse which had nested at the back of our sofa and helped itself to the food for the homeless, my husband spotted a wasp’s nest right outside our front door. Then, hours later and for days previous my husband and I continued with our fascinating discussion as to what we thought the excrement left all over our back door and windows was from. He said it was snails, which made me laugh as I had visions of 100 snails marching past our back door just for the pleasure of relieving themselves and leaving us such a glorious present. I am not joking, there were hundreds of bits of excrement left each day. And so the mystery continued until we did our Sherlock Holmes’ homework and came to the conclusion that in fact we had another nest at the back wall of our house, but this one was full of bats, and when I say full, I mean dozens. Of course they sleep in the day, and come out at night, which is why we couldn’t figure out what on earth was using our back garden as their private toilet. I am a city girl, right? I was brought up in the city and the only animals I was used to then, were always kept in a cage or box of some kind, except our stunning Siberian Husky dog who was treated like royalty. I am telling you, wasps, I can just about cope with so long as I keep at a distance, the mouse was kind of cute though in the end it had to go, but the bats, that was just too much. Of course bats are a protected species in the United Kingdom, and so we were advised to leave them alone until they decide to move. What a prospect: cleaning excrement for the rest of the summer. All for the sake of nature. Bring it on!!
A day passed and when I think I am just getting used to our new guests and their nasty habits, I am drawn outside by this most powerful, fishy, rotten smell ever. The last time I smelled something like that, I was a kid exploring the countryside with my friends when we bumped into a dead dog on the side of the mountain. I should have followed my gut instinct and not ventured to open the lid of our organic waste bin. You have guessed it, hundreds of maggots. Mu husband spent the day on the coast with a mate at the weekend and decided to be spontaneous and purchase fresh lobster from a fisherman who was selling them at a very reasonable price. He got home all excited and after having a half hour conversation on the phone with my mum in Spanglish as to how best to kill the beasts and cook them, he braised himself and did a pretty good job for an inexperienced guy. The lobster was delicious, but for some reason the flesh in the claws did not quite cook enough, and so we did not touch that part. I know what you are thinking. No, there was nothing wrong with the lobsters. They were fresh, caught that day. They just needed a couple more minutes on the boil. It has been a few days and we are both ok, so no worries there. Of course, as I cleaned up afterwards I put the leftovers in the organic waste bin, but what was my surprise today when following the stench in the air I was led to the discovery that the claws’ meat had turned into such a revolting, unforgettable sight. It seems I had not properly closed the bin and so flies had got in there and nested. Now by this time, I am really starting to ponder whether there is more to this than what meets the eye. I mean sometimes God and sometimes the devil will send us messages that can come in all forms, shapes and circumstances. I have shared some of these with you here on the blog before and I can assure you it happens.
If anyone out there can figure out whether there is more to this than just tough luck, please enlighten me, because I am beginning to wonder what kind of living hell I am going to encounter next. Can this be spiritual attack to instill fear in us? I wonder. This weekend we celebrate in our garden, of all places, a party to say a big thank you to all those families who faithfully and generously have been giving food which is in turn passed on in food parcels to the homeless and those in need in our locality and the nearby areas. This party is an opportunity to bring all these people with a common heart for those in need together and to get them to meet each other and develop relationships which if nurtured correctly, can grow and develop into something fruitful in the future. Isn’t it interesting that at the very time when we want to have our house in the best of conditions in terms of cleanliness and a welcoming atmosphere, all these unsavoury characters are appearing right on our doorstep, some of them have even made themselves at home? I know that where Kingdom purposes are involved, the Devil is going to make its presence felt too with the purpose of intimidating, scaring, discouraging and even terrifying us in our determination to see the will of God come to pass. You may think I am taking this one step too far and that I have watched too many horror movies, but trust me, it is not my genre and I avoid them like the plague. You only have to hear the news everyday. That is enough horror movie for me, thank you very much.
Sorry not to have written something a bit more inspiring, but I just felt prompted to share this with you.