The Scratching Sound

06 Feb


It was the wee hours of the morning. My husband had already left for work, and I was up writing on my bed. Our young daughter was asleep by my side.

Suddenly I started to hear a scratching sound coming from behind our bed. It started faint and I tried to ignore it, but then I heard it again, “Scratch, scratch, tap, tap.”

I thought, “It is probably just another bug scurrying across some paper.” I grabbed my husband’s shoe.

But then the scratching sound kept getting louder and louder.

My heart started beating faster, as I remembered my husband making mention of a rat he had seen run across our driveway a week earlier.

A thought popped in my mind, “What if it is not just a little bug? What if it is a rat?”

Moments later I had made up my mind, “It is a rat and if it is not a rat it is a huge bug that is going to jump out at me the moment I go to look for it.”

Then in a moment of great valor, I quickly evacuated my daughter out of the room. I shoved a towel under my bedroom door and then did the brave thing any grown woman would do.

I called my mother.

My mom encouraged me and assured me, “A rat won’t keep moving about under your bed with you there. It’s probably just a bug scratching around in some papers. You are 5′4″ and with a broom in your hands you’d be a very scary adversary for a bug.”

I had become a refugee on my sofa, kicked from my homeland due to a frightening noise. We talked and prayed. I felt better and a bit ridiculous.

It was almost 5:00 a.m. but I couldn’t sleep. I had a potential rodent on the loose in my room. Then God mustered up my courage in me. I did what my momma said. I grabbed a broom and pushed the door open slowly.

Next I grabbed my original other weapon of choice, my husband’s shoe.

I saw no sign of rat droppings and heard no scratching sound. I walked on top of my bed and with a big breath (and my big broom and big shoe) investigated behind the headboard… nothing.

Next, I got as far back from my bed as I could, and got down on my belly- a move I considered quite brave at the time- and lifted the bed skirt with the end of my broom… no rat.

I did find two crinkled papers and my daughter’s missing shoe that had been missing for some time.

Then I saw the origin of all my fears making its way up my bed skirt, only two feet away from where my daughter had been resting. I quickly knocked it down to the carpet and assaulted it with my husband’s shoe.

It laid there in shock- still moving. It was not a rat or a large bug. It was an embarrassingly small bug.

I stared at that bug and at my daughter’s shoe which I had found under the bed.

I considered how the Bible identifies me as God’s daughter, and yet, there I was, filled with fear over a tiny bug.

I thought to myself, “How can I walk in power and peace if I walk in doubt and fear?”

I thought of how I took hold of my husband’s shoe.

I questioned, “Am I truly taking a hold of God’s Word?”

I thought of how I lifted up that broom to face my fears and questioned,

“What am I lifting up when it comes to the big fears in my life? Am I lifting up words of praise and faith or words of fear? Do I have faith that God will sweep away my fears?”

In that moment, I knew that this tiny bug was God’s way of challenging me to consider those tiny doubts and fears that rob me of the peace that matters most.


“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV

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One response to “The Scratching Sound

  1. Bubba Janey

    February 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I remember that phone call. It’s funny how we find our strength in the wee hours of the morning. It’s most amazing though, how we find God in our deepest darkest fears. I love you Charity and your ability to find God’s love in little things in life that bug us. (All puns intended!) Mom


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