shiny but scared

Amos the Churchmouse

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse who types by hurling himself at the keys, but he can’t use the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks – except hyphens and dashes.

shiny but scared

boss we had an interesting
bible study the other day
here in the church pew
underworld

a group of us had gathered
together in pastor leroy
beetle s house and he
shared with us some
biblical insights from a
fellow preacher named
chuck swindoll as we went
on a studying safari
through the psalms

our beady little eyes fell
upon verse nine in psalms
seventy-eight

we were intrigued by a
strange stroke of the
psalmist s pen –
the sons of ephraim were
archers equipped with bows
yet they turned back in the
day of battle –

we couldn t believe it boss
here these men of ephraim
were adept with bow and
arrow – and not only that –
they had lots of hardware
to handle the enemy s attack

but look at what they did said
pastor leroy on the day of
battle that is the first day
of the fray they turned back
like foxes hunted by hounds
they ran far far away

although they were well-armed
and capable they lacked
steadfastness they were
completely unstable

on the surface they were a
highly polished impressive-
looking rugged company of
muscular men

they were as smooth as a
marine drill team boss
running through the manual
of arms like a fine-tuned
machine no one faulted e
company at inspection
everyone s sandals shone
like polished brass

but underneath the dress-blues
written across their soft
underbelly was a more accurate
description – coward –
the fastest maneuver they ever
accomplished was the waving of
the white flag the only weapon
they used to restrain the enemy
was a cloud of dust as they
retreated – en masse – and
in a hurry

what an indictment – the sons
of ephraim loved memorial day
parades and target practice but
as soon as the going got tough
they ran right out of their shiny
sandals and headed back to the
barracks – they were the
original quitters

pastor leroy paused and looked
into our eyes boss –
ephraimites live on you know
they have invaded our churches
and families our schools and
our jobs and until difficulty
comes along you can t spot them
homes and churches across the
land are haunted by the ghosts
of ephraimites

let s just quit are becoming
household words in our day
but remember says he there s
not an achievement worth
honoring that isn t stained
with the blood of diligence
and etched with the scars of
disappointment

boss our group made a pledge
if we have to face a difficult
battle in our lives we won t
run we ll stand still and
refuse to retreat

sure it may be tough
nobody ever said the christian
life would be easy god never
promised us a disneyland
but he offers us something
better – his own sustaining
presence and power through
every storm we may encounter

amos