Last week’s Five-Minute Friday prompt was IGNORE, which brought to mind two “don’ts” and one “do.” You know, like Glamour magazine’s fashion advice to help women “prevent wardrobe catastrophes…” These three pieces of advice are down to earth and not of this world.
Don’t ignore mice in the house
“I just saw a flash of grey, running across the floor.” Keith said. “I think we have a mouse, and it’s behind the sofa now.” A mouse in the house is not something to ignore. Mice build nests, chew and contaminate food, leave droppings, spread disease, and reproduce.
Mice shimmy into our garage, despite deterrents, but we hadn’t seen any signs in the house until now. After spotting the small flash of grey, Keith found a nest in the wood container next to the stove, and I found chewed Styrofoam packing “peanuts” in the spare boxes I keep in the closet under the basement stairs. I put on gloves, removed all the boxes and packing material, and took them to the dump. On the way home, I stopped at our local hardware store to purchase mouse traps.
That night—mice are generally nocturnal—Keith baited the trap with peanut butter. I found a dead mouse in the trap the next morning. Since the peanut butter had not been eaten, Keith figured that there weren’t any more. But we are on the lookout—taking care of house and home.
Don’t ignore relationships
The women’s winter Bible study is Heidi Goehmann’s Good Gifts: A Study of James, a six-week study with these chapter topics: Good Giver, Good Mercy, Good Fruit, Good Future, Good Relationships, and Good Word(s). In Good Mercy, Goehmann referenced James 2:15-16.
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Then she asked, “How can we show Gospel-bred warmth to our spouse, to our families, to the people we live with, to our neighbors, and to those we share space with on this globe.”
Or as our pastor asked in yesterday’s message, how can we be the salt and light for others. How can we integrate faith and good works? How can we love our families, friends and neighbors as ourselves, especially in the second half of life?
We should not ignore these questions or each other. Rather we should connect with one another, even when the connection is hard.
Do ignore gripes and slights
“What have you got going today?” Keith asked me early Saturday morning. How I love to share my to-do list!
“A lot of the usual,” I said, “and checking on neighbors.” Then I elaborated and morphed into worries and gripes, which I also love to talk about.
“Uh-huh,” Keith said, as his eyes glazed over. He’d heard all of this several times before. It’s a marriage thing. Sometimes I feel slighted when he doesn’t listen. But he doesn’t hold a grudge when I’m not attentive to the repetitive topics he likes to talk about, so why should I fall into that trap?
A friend at church often says, “A good marriage is made up for two good forgivers.” And sometimes that means two people who know when and what to ignore.