Yesterday, on the first day of class for Intro to Biblical Studies, I taught like Jesus. But before elaborating on my Christ-like pedagogy, some background information is necessary:
In this class we always start with the topic of 586 BCE, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and exile and fighting assimilation in Babylon. We listen to both Don McLean and Bony M sing "By the Rivers of Babylon" and we read Lamentations. In Lamentations 4:6 the text reads "The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment without a hand turned to help her." That notion of sudden death preferable to a long drawn out agonizing one got me thinking about my father's favorite short story, "Lost Face" by Jack London, and then that got me thinking about mice.
I've had some pretty epic battles against rodents in my office before. First they chewed off the face of my Moses action figurine, and then they attacked a nice Bedouin family. But recently when we were moving furniture to our restored home, we noticed that mice had recently infiltrated our old laundry room. And thus, the following parable was born, linking me forever with Jesus:
There was a fat man from Nebraska who noticed mice poop on his laundry room floor. He bought two types of traps. The standard spring loaded bar mouse trap, and these new fangled sticky pads. The next day, there was one dead mouse, nearly decapitated, in the spring loaded trap, and there were two mice, still alive, suffering on the sticky pads, who were thrown into the trash can where they died a slow tortuous death and their corpses smelled like spoiled crawfish. The fat man with the bad karma was reborn as a three legged mouse, and one day he tried to help his mouse friend on a sticky pad and he got caught too. Now I ask you, which of these mice had the better fate?