Some will have strong opinions on the situation I am about to describe.
My 7 year old daughter, Essence, a girl who feels things deeply, rushed in with a baby rat in her hand.
She was genuinely shaking with pure joy and excitement. Our extended family who was visiting enjoyed the commotion, and the little cousins were a mix of horror and delight.
The rat itself was rather cute. The size of
a grown mouse already it had full fur but eyes still tightly closed and a very wobbly crawl.
Now what do I do? I immediately thought. Two weeks earlier Essence had cried half a day from the death of a wild parrot we had found and tamed. Her sparkling eyes
told me we were already in for trouble.
I should have made her put it back where she found it, but Stephen had already explained to our brother-in-law how he had seen a grown rat near the stream, clearly thirsty from rat bait. Essence
knew this meant the baby had no mother.
So, yes, I found a syringe from Stephen’s medical bag, wrapped the baby in toilet paper and fed it warm milk.
I knew it would live. That is what worried
Two days later, the rat was happy and determined to grow. Last night I struggled with sleeplessness knowing what would have to happen this morning. No details to be given, except the baby rat has a permanent resting home
where we will never see him again. We had to fudge the truth to keep a smile on our girls’ face as she slumped off to school.
I share this because of the conflicting emotions
that a small thing can bring out.
All babies are rather cute in their own way. I have so easily picked up life’s baby rats in the past, only to find they grow up to bite me and can never be tamed. They leave a constant
trail of their waste products for all to see and smell their presence.
This is a difficult lesson. I guess having a sense of God’s presence at all times is what opens our
eyes to the effects of nurturing baby rats. For me, I learned it is not worth the tears and effort, and that though it might hurt, some endeavors/people/issues should never be picked up. God’s wisdom must come into play. We are asked to place the boundary
of scripture around and into our hearts to navigate what might turn up on our doorsteps in front of a crowd.