When church mice roar
Recently, I heard someone make a disparaging remark about a woman, referring to her as a “church mouse.” At first, I was hurt and offended, but that phrase began to percolate inside of me and instead of feeling the sting of those words, it stirred something up inside of me.
I’ve been called a “church mouse.” I’ve been called “goody-two shoes,” “Shirley Temple,” “an unrealistic optimist,” a “Jesus chick,” and the list goes on. Although I know that each time someone has called me one of those silly things, it was intended to be an insult. Have you ever been insulted for trying to be good, do right, treat others well, and mind your own business?
Someone once stopped me after church when they had heard my testimony and basically told me that they didn’t believe it, because everyone “has a past and a story.” I agree, but not everyone’s story is sad, bad, mad or full of decisions that took them down a dark path.
I’ve heard hundreds of testimonies from people in real life, in church or on television, talking about how bad they were before they gave their heart to Jesus Christ. At times it almost seems like they are glorifying sin and their bad behaviors, and maybe even missing them an awfully lot. Sometimes it seems like a contest to see who can be the “baddest,” or have the “saddest” story before their life was transformed by God’s love.
What about us church mice? What about those of us who gave our hearts to God when we were mere children and have lived faithfully to that set of values all our lives? What about those of us who never chose to be wild and crazy and rebellious? What about those of us who never deliberately indulged in the pleasures of this world?
Are we less valuable than someone who has lived a selfish, sin wracked life before they decided it was time to choose a better path and had a life altering encounter with God?
I don’t think so.
Sometimes the “church mice” who go along on their daily routine every day of their life trying to be good human beings, serve God and humanity, and do good for other people are the ones who are invisible in the church community. Sometimes their faithfulness is taken for granted. Sometimes their voice isn’t heard over all the noise in the world. Sometimes they are overlooked and undervalued by those who realize how great a transformation they have had in their own life.
I know my imperfections. I see my failures. I struggle with self-esteem issues and underachievement. I feel as deeply as anyone, even though I may not always express those feelings. I don’t think I’m better than anyone. But in God’s eyes, I don’t think anyone is better than me, either. There are plenty of people who are prettier, louder, wealthier, more talented, smarter, more powerful than I am. Most of us are surrounded by those types of people every day. I’m thankful God looks on the heart of each one of us and is not impressed by the superficial, external things.
There is a shift taking place in the church at large. There is a new season coming on fast, where people will respond to what’s real and authentic more than what’s hype and show. When genuine, documented miracles begin to happen in small churches, insignificant towns, and through the hands of unknown individuals, people are going to be surprised. As a culture, we are used to listening to individuals who ROAR. Politicians, big personalities, big ministries, big celebrities, and big athletes can whisper and the whole world listens to the good and bad that comes out of their mouths.
I proclaim that those of us who have been the little invisible church mice are being called to come together, to rise up for what we believe, to join our voices together, to fulfill our destinies in this land and begin to roar. Women seem to have the floor right now with all o their accusations and attacks on the male gender. Wait just a little longer, and I believe we will hear the daughters of God arising, joining their purpose, and will be heard in this land and around the world with a mighty roar.
Being called a church mouse might be the biggest compliment an individual could ever get. I can hardly wait to hear the church mice roar.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at email@example.com or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.