The mouse-deer I want to be

The Malaysian mouse-deer.  Exquisite.  Frightened.  Almost unbelievably beautiful.

Mouse Deer Permission


The mouse-deer reminds me of God’s goodness and who I am to be before God.

The delicacy of the bones, the fragility of the life, and humility in the expression of the creature draws my heart to remember God’s heart for me and who I can be in Him.

A metaphor for how I feel about the inner vulnerability of the heart.

The secret heart.  The part of my heart and your heart that, if it was exposed to anything but the tenderest touch, would gush raw blood.  The part that is not even possible or accessible to share with our closest family or friends, not even if we wanted.

Mouse Deer 2 Creative Commons

The mouse-deer in me.  The fragile dreams.  The realization that I am a short-living and easily humiliated creature.  The hidden, inner trembling because I know I am small and breakable.

The fearful hope the mouse-deer represents of exquisite, fragile beauty.

This is who I want to be before God.

I want God to see me as a little mouse-deer.  I want to show God every one of my straw-like bones, and I want to touch my tiny and fearful nose to His palm.  I want to take huge mouthfuls of the fruit He has laid out in baskets for me, very aware that, if this is a trick, I can never escape in time.  The faint, uncertain pitter-patter of my heart as I trust no trap awaits me and I taste the moments of my life He’s given me.

Mouse Deer 4 Creative Commons

Only God sees the mouse-deer within my heart.  Not even I can really view the vulnerability and beauty of myself before Him.  There is no mirror in the wilderness where He meets me.  But He sees me.  And that is enough.

I trust only Him to reveal the frailty and marvel of the new person that He has breathed to life within me.  I trust only Him to tenderly care for the secret me.

I trust only Him to see the mouse-deer within me.  I spend time either straining to see myself or fleeing from the vulnerability of myself during this delicate heart-working, this delicate heart-working of who I am in Him.

Mouse Deer 3 Creative Commons

As God knit me once in my mother’s womb, so He knits my dainty, exquisite, pride-less, beautiful inner being for His eternal Kingdom.

The clunkiness of sin, the weight of guilt, the carnivorous desires inside me all veil the deer-mouse I fear to become and yet desperately want to be.  But they none of them have power over God’s work within me.  No feature of who I used to be has the ability to mutate the new creation God is knitting every moment since my salvation.

Only God can see all the features within me that do not match what He wants my delicate heart to become and forgive me.  Anyone else would run in terror, jeer in amusement, or condemn in wrath.  Only God through His Son can lift the heaviness of the burden that I, in my sin nature, am the predator . . and only through His Son can He create in me the new birth of the exquisite.

Mouse Deer Creative Commons

.                         .                         .                         .                         .

The little deer-mouse longs to tiptoe on tiny hooves up to the Presence of God.  The weak-hearted, tiny deer-mouse aches to trust Him enough to approach the baskets of fruit He has for her.  Not to scarf them down with eyes wandering violently from side to side in search of predators, but to delight in every mouthful of fruit He has for her, fruit of many colors that represent the many moments left of her dwindling and fragile life.

The little deer-mouse fears to think what might happen tomorrow, when the jowls of an alligator snap shut on her or a net buried in the leaves cinches up around her or her feeble heart simply stops.  There is humility in knowing she has brought this on herself by her own sin; there is a reason she comes tail tucked and head bowed.

The little deer-mouse is afraid to think about eternity, or of a time when she must yield her failing heart to God in trust that He will give her the next heartbeat as soon as she crosses into eternity.  The trust of really believing He has already knit for her an eternity with Him; the faith to believe that He will keep her everlasting heart beating even as the ugly body of her old self . . who she was . . rots away with all the other forgotten corpses in the wilderness.

To the outsiders, her corpse will be just another expected occurrence in the inferior and easily forgotten life of wilderness living.  She must trust her Creator to remember her.  She must trust her Creator was really sincere when He promised her He was knitting a new self for her inside her old one.  She must trust that her Savior really did pay for every regret in the dead body . . that she really can leave it behind and become who God is longing for her to be . . who God has surprised her with becoming on the inside.

She must believe the invisible will become visible, the hidden secret of the knitting will become the reality of who she now will be.

Afraid of the humongous, humongous fruit basket that eternity represents . . braving both overwhelmingly fearful and overwhelmingly delighted glimpses at it . . peeping at the basket with bashful blinking eyes.

But the little-deer mouse still trots on shy hooves up to the Presence of God.  A God who is gaspingly huge and unnervingly fearsome and unimaginably powerful.  A God who the deer-mouse would find impossible to visit, was it not that this very God became the most exposed, the most vulnerable of all in His substitutionary death for her.

The deer-mouse is frightened, but the deer-mouse cowers up to the Presence of God.  The all-mighty hand of God rests on the tiny creature, and the deer-mouse begins to understand . . this is not the least-preferable way to come to God.  This is the only way for her to come to God.


If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves.We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:3-7, NLT)


Photograph of Mouse Deer 1 by, website allows permission to share with credit

Photograph of Mouse Deer 2 by Just Chaos (Jean), profile on

Photograph of Mouse Deer 3 by Peter Gordon, profile on  See

Photograph of Mouse Deer 4 by Eden Pictures, profile on

Photograph of Mouse Deer 5 by Bjorn Christian Torrisen,

Photographs 2-5 licensed under Creative Commons License.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! That story was as exquisite and beautiful as the deer-mouse herself! The fragility, timidity, vulnerability, yet courage, daring, trust and determination… I have a lot of respect for the deer-mouse who bravely goes about her way and seeks out the fruit instead of hiding in her den safe and warm. It’s a beautiful thing, to step out, take the risk, and trust the Master’s hand. Awesomely done!

    On Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM, gracestories

    • Aww . . thank you, honey. I was hoping you would comment on this one. It was a metaphor that meant a lot to me. I treasure the mouse deer.

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