Unfortunately, a murder took place in my office today. (No, not a church member, silly!)
Well, I think the actual murder took place out at the dumpster, but the apprehension of the victim did, in fact, occur in my office.
We noticed just this week that we’ve been sharing our office with a four-legged creature of the rodent variety. Apparently, pastoral intern Jackie was here late working the other night trying to make a dent in the long list of assignments she’s gotten from her slave-driving mentor pastor (me!). Once Jackie got down off the desk she reported the sighting, which led our church administrator Paul to acquire sticky traps-you know the kind that catch the mouse so he can’t move?
The outrage among certain nature-loving members of our staff (okay, Mary, director of membership and missions) was loud and strident.
“We should be loving and accepting all of God’s creatures (blah, blah, blah)!”
I listened carefully and skillfully tried to shift the direction of the conversation by inquiring whether or not Mary had used this opportunity to think outside the box in matters relating to membership: for example, had she considered using some of that super sticky glue on the pews (to try to raise our retention rate for visitors, of course)?
Unfortunately, that approach did not work, and for the last 48 hours I have received several scathing emails on the subject of terrorism toward rodents and its incompatibility with Christian faith.
Then, just today, Mary and I were in a meeting in my office. I believe it was right after I asked for her thoughts on the morale of the staff when she screamed and jumped up on the couch.
(I personally was thinking that morale was really good around here, so her reaction took me by surprise.)
After she shrieked for awhile I finally heard the word “mouse” and joined her up on the furniture. We then carefully came down and ascertained the mouse was hiding behind my large hardback volume of Friedrick Schliermacher’s Systematic Theology in the bookcase.
(I’m thinking there’s a joke for this but nothing is coming to mind at the moment.)
Anyway, as usual, Paul swooped in to save the day wielding two of his sticky traps. He placed one on the floor on each side of the bookcase and tried to startle the mouse (supposing, I guess, that no mouse would be brave enough to climb out the front of the shelf-over Schliermacher. He was right).
And that’s when the apprehension occurred. He tried to get away, poor baby, but the traps worked as they were supposed to and Paul carried him (or her) to his cruel fate near the dumpster.
Needless to say, Mary in her typical “fight-for-all-things-that-are-right” approach to life is horrified by the inhumane activities going on in the office. For me, well, I just took a few deep breaths, resolved never to pick up Systematic Theology ever again and got back to work.
That’s what I did, that is, until I received the following via email, from Mary, whose morale, it seems, has been significantly damaged by this experience: “What is our bereavement policy? I’m going to need to take some days of mourning off.”