I have a client who is rather fond of the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. Tom is a cat, and Jerry is a mouse. Having grown up in a home where we had a television, I am familiar with these characters that have been around since 1940. One day several weeks ago when I arrived at my client’s house for our afternoon session, I noticed a new toy sitting on the small table where we sometimes do our work. It was the house you see in the picture above. My client’s older sister explained to me that it was a tricky trap house that Tom uses to try and catch Jerry. Upon inspection, I noticed some of the cleverly disguised traps that were part of the house, such as a porch swing with a crack down the middle that you can’t see very well, a grand piano with three good legs and one wobbly leg that you can easily kick out and a chandelier that can be ejected by a button, causing it to fall and become a mouse trap. We use this trap house sometimes during play time to provide my client with opportunities to learn how to be flexible. Sometimes I will purposely interrupt him in playing, maybe by rearranging furniture in the house or saying that I want a turn to play with Tom and Jerry. I then take data on whether or not he was flexible. If he’s not flexible, we make a note of it and teach him how to respond in a way that is more acceptable than raising his voice in protest, screaming or throwing a fit. We are also using the trap house to try and help him gain an understanding of prepositions. For instance, I will take the Tom figure, place him in front of the house and ask, “Where’s Tom?” We prompt him to say “in front” until he can get to the place where he can tell us independently.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been a Sunday school teacher for so long that I have a tendency to see object lessons in things around me. I’d like to think that it is God trying to show me something. Whatever the case, I think this trap house has a spiritual application which I put in the form of a poem.
Satan has a tricky trap house
He’d like you to enter in
Though it has been called many things
It’s original name is sin.
He’ll tell you that it won’t harm you
Indulge a little, and all will be well
Don’t be fooled, his real intention
Is to damn your soul to hell.
Temptation can look so appealing
Appear to be harmless and fun
Consider not Satan’s slick offers
But from his enticements, run!
To God you must first submit
If ol’ sloughfoot you plan to resist
Then when that deceiver comes knockin’
The Lord will be there to assist.
And when the devil is beat at his game
For him it will be such a bummer
With God’s grace you will have become
A victorious overcomer!
I’m thankful that through Jesus we can have the power to recognize and overcome the temptations of the enemy. Satan, you’re kingdom’s coming down. No April fooling!