Monday, August 12, 2013

The Brown Mouse

The rustle of the newspaper pierced the silence. I glanced over at God, and watched Him turn yet another page.
  An invisible cord yanked at my heart; I winced. I was convinced that if my rib cage did not successfully keep its captive, my heart would have succumbed long ago and landed solidly in God’s lap. The frantic flutter of wings brushed against the restraining bars; the cord beckoning my eager heart to its desired resting place.
I clutched my hand to my chest in an attempt to ease the yearnings. But it was useless; I knew what my heart wanted.
I looked at God again. He seemed so peaceful; sitting on the couch, reading His paper. And yet here I was sitting not even two feet away on the same couch, my heart ready to burst out of my chest. Yes, my heart knew well what it wanted; it wanted love. But not just any love; it wanted a love that was unique and passionate. The kind of love that says, “My life would be emptier without you.” My heart—I—yearned for that kind of love.
Am I just yearning for too much? I thought to myself.
My heart gave another lurch. The pain blurred my vision. I willfully forced the haze to flee. But my success was short-lived. Instead of finding myself reoriented to the sitting room, I found myself surrounded by throngs of white mice. My skin prickled; I was familiar with this nightmare. I glanced down at my own fur-covered body. My horror was confirmed as I watched my once-brown fur fade to a dull white.
“But, Jaime, you are a brown mouse.”
In response to the disembodied voice I examined my fur again, discovering that it had been restored to its brown hue. For a moment I felt my heart ease in its fanatical flight. But then doubt crept in and icy anxiety sent it back into spasms.
“Oh yeah,” I cried in my squeaky voice. “But that one is grey, and that one is black.” As I labeled each mouse, pointing it out with my tiny claw, its hue shifted to match my accusations in a single poof. “And that one is white with brown spots, and that one over there is black with grey stripes!” Victoriously convinced that my point had been proved with this last extravagant example, I hurled my accusation: “You say I am unique, but EVERYONE is unique!”
“But imagine if I didn’t have my brown mouse,” the voice replied, calmly.
“You’ve got a whole rainbow of mice! You wouldn’t miss me!”
“My rainbow wouldn’t be complete without you,” the voice reasoned.
“Yeah, but . . .” Suddenly, I was back on the couch. The sight of God staring intently at me dried up my angry attack. My mouth slowly shut, and I diverted my eyes from the penetrating irises that had been searching them.
God continued in a level voice: “Jaime, you struggle to believe My love simply because you continue to reject it. I’m sitting here telling you that My existence would be emptier without you, and you simply shove it all back in My face.” God hesitated for only a second, and then He spat: “That stupid cardboard box is proof of it!”
I didn’t even have to drop my eyes in order to become very aware of the huge box in my arms.
God continued: “I have given you that beautiful gift. But you choose to hide it instead. As if its beauty is too bright for your eyes! As if it truly will fry you!”

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