Some of you may have seen my Facebook status update from yesterday talking about a baby mouse we were trying to save, and that it died. We had found a small litter of mice in a friend’s car and the mother seemingly ran away in fear, abandoning them. My stepdaughter bought animal formula and she tried to nurse them. I didn’t want to get involved at first because the likelihood of three abandoned baby mice surviving wasn’t was good, I’d feel compelled to try to raise them if I did, and I didn’t really want mice as pets. But as things happen, she needed help taking care of them, and after the first two died I ended up helping feed the third one, named Bub, every few hours for a day or so before it died.
When it died, my heart broke. I was in tears holding it as it died, watching it use accessory muscles in compensation as it mouth-breathed, gasping for air. As a nurse I know what I was watching, but with a tiny baby mouse there was really nothing I could do to fix it. I tried to tap its back lightly while upside down to see if I could help it clear its lungs, but after it struggled to breathe for a few minutes, its tiny body ran out of energy, and it died. My granddaughters were also present when it died, and the oldest, 8, began to cry as well. I held her and Bub’s body, and we both just cried for a while. I am currently attempting to resurrect this mouse, and will continue to do so for the next day or so.
This is an extremely unglamorous post–the notion of snot and tears rolling down my red, puffy face isn’t exactly a reader’s dream. I share it because I feel that far too often we share the nice and happy things in life–especially on social media, except life is filled with not just happy things, but sad ones. I share this because anything worth doing involves risk–and in this case it was risk of heartache and loss. The idea of raising the dead is as much a risk-undertaking as was allowing the mouse into my heart–possibly even more, because I risk grieving its loss the first time, then grieving a second time if I fail to raise it. In spite of this, it cannot be done any other way.
When we attempt to resurrect the dead, whether animal or human, we entertain risk, and there is always a price when we step out and take risks, especially in this area. Sometimes the risk is small–we risk making ourselves look silly to some stranger we may never meet again. Sometimes the risk is much greater–our reputation in an entire town, church, or social circle, the risk of failure, the risk of heartache and heartbreak, and for some the risk of losing trust in God. Most things in life involve risk, but resurrection is one of those things that is optional. We don’t have to try to raise the dead–God won’t love us any less if we don’t. However, I do believe that when we are unwilling to step out and take these sorts of risks, our lives are poorer for it.
I don’t know if Bub will return or not. I didn’t know if he would survive when I was feeding him, and I knew in advance it wasn’t likely. I do know that I value life, and I value it enough to release the Spirit of Life, the only hope that we have in all of life, into the situation. This is a choice that I have made in my heart, to value life enough that where possible, I will actively combat the death at work in our world. I encourage you to consider what risk you are willing to entertain when it comes to healing, resurrection, and overall seeing God’s life released into this broken world.
If you want to learn more about how to raise the dead, or are interested in joining communities of believers online who are passionate about resurrection and the abundant life of Christ, please consider the following links and resources: