A couple days ago, I found a mouse for the first time in my apartment. Having grown up in a nice, clean place on the West Coast, I have come to find NYC is just way more susceptible to weird, gross creatures. I have found centipedes, roaches, ants — and a lot of other creepy things in my time here in New York. Despite, the regular rat sighting in the subway, I was not ready to be met head-on with a mouse in my living space.
I saw a mouse scurry across my apartment floor, and like any normal person would — I screamed. A couple of days later, after a long day of work and food prepping, I sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and was met with a weird sound. Below my dishwasher was a little mouse casually sitting on my kitchen floor — doing God knows what. To be honest with you, I didn’t really care — all I knew was this mouse had encroached in my space and was definitely not contributing to my rent.
To say I was completely terrified was an understatement.
I am bold enough to say the enemy in the form of a mouse scurried across my apartment floor and stole my peace last week. My super was able to fill the hole we believed the mouse came from. Though he reassured me, the damage had been done — this mouse had the ability to fill all my thoughts and time for the next three days. I was actually so afraid, I would call friends and family whenever I had to walk out into my kitchen.
I think more importantly — this MOUSE had the power to have me in the throne room begging Jesus to give me back my safety. I have had a CRAZY couple of weeks — so many layers of my life have changed recently relationally, family, and work-related, but it was the mouse that got me on my knees. It was a mouse that had me believe God could do anything. It was the MOUSE that had me calling out to God.
I admit this is slightly embarrassing — but you’re here, you’re reading, and I have a point here.
I think this speaks so loudly to our desire to come home, rest, and find peace and solitude in our safe spaces. I think it speaks so loudly about how I can be so easily rattled and need God in such an ordinary place called home.
I think this says two things:
1. Coming home is important. I don’t know what home looks like for you, but when I am unable to spend time at the feet of Jesus — I become unsettled, rattled, and very uncomfortable.
2. As humans, it’s important for us to be advocates of homes and safe spaces for those who do not have them. As crazy as this might sound, God made it so clear to me that providing physical home and spaces to people — actually speaks to the justice and dignity human beings need. I think we forget it’s a dignity. I think when we see homeless people, we cannot relate.
Here’s how you can relate: imagine a mouse in your apartment and the unsettling discomfort of not knowing if it’s going to pop out and chase you. I have not met one person who didn’t cringe when I told them this story.
Think about what it would be like to NEVER feel safe — to never find home, to never build or create a space that is yours. There are a lot of people in the world who are not afforded this.
I think we take for granted the ability to come home to a safe space. I have never not had a safe place to call home. Home is my refuge — and I think it’s easy to forget it’s actually quite a special gift.
I hope we can be better advocates of home not just for ourselves, but for those who may have experienced it.