Apr 24

Here, Kitten, Kitten


Feral cats lived in the bushes next to my worksite. I watched the Mama Cat grow heavy with kittens. She eventually came to me, knowing she would be fed.

And then I saw them—three skinny, hungry little waifs, with sticky eyes nearly closed with infection. I crawled under the bushes, trying to catch them. “Here kitten, kitten.”

And the rose-colored kitten came to me. I placed her in a box and went back for the other two.

“Here, kitten, kitten.” I crawled further under the bramble bushes.

How could they know how different their lives would be if they came to me? How could they know there would be catnip toys, three meals a day, no fleas, and a warm bed.

"Here, Kitten, kitten."

I had the tortoiseshell kitten by the scruff of her neck and placed her in the box next to her sister. The box trembled as they scratched toward the top. Their mewing became more insistent as I crawled further into the bushes, trying to reach the black baby. Lord knows I tried, but I couldn't catch him. My fingers brushed the tips of his soft fur as he disappeared into the bushes. I had to leave him behind.

Months have passed and the rose-colored kitten and her tortoiseshell sister scamper through the house, frolic up and down the cat pole, sprawl across my lap and kick and fight each other in mock battle. At night they curl together on a soft bed with tummies full of kitten Friskies and dream of catnip mice.

“Here kitten, kitten.”

They hear my voice and run to me, reaching their little feet up my leg, begging to be picked up, purring with delight as I rub their little heads. They don’t remember the day I left their brother behind. But I do.

And I think of him, living in the bushes, perhaps hungry, perhaps sick, never knowing the joy of a human touch. And I think about the moment he chose to run from me. How could he know that running away would alter his life?

He’s still there, they tell me, those who catch a glimpse of him. He’s a feral cat now, hungry, ragged, one of the untouchables, frightened at the sound of a human voice.

That little black cat represents all the suffering in the world I have no power to change. I think of all the sick bodies I cannot heal, the hungry mouths I cannot feed, those living in oppression I cannot free.

That little cat has a body I could heal, a mouth I could feed, and a life I could make joyful. And, so, from time to time, I return to the bushes, and call, hoping one day he will respond.

“Here kitten, kitten. Please come to me. Let me change your life…”


How like that kitten we are, when our Lord calls and we turn away and run, searching for something, not knowing what we seek. Like the black kitten, frightened of what we don’t believe or can’t understand, we run, unwilling to surrender.

Jesus promises to forgive our sins. He promises eternal life and comfort in time of sorrow. He offers a personal relationship with our Him and His Heavenly Father.

Jesus calls, “Come to me, Kitten, Kitten. Trust me and I will show you a better life. Follow Me, and I will fill your life with joy and peace.”

Many hear His call but turn away. And still Jesus calls. “Here Kitten, Kitten. Please come.”

Sep 13

Angels All Around Us. Fact or Fiction?

balaamsangelangel and bridgecolorDO OTHER RELIGIONS BELIEVE IN ANGELS? Angels are part of many religions including Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism and are mentioned in the Bible as well as in the Qur'an and Hadith. All religions agree that angels are divine spiritual beings sent by God as messengers to comfort, or to protect in time of great need.

ANGELS IN THE BIBLE: The Bible includes many interactions and conversations between angels and humans. The most remembered− the Archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary to foretell the birth of Jesus Christ.* Angels directed the shepherds to the stable where Jesus was born.** Following the Resurrection of Jesus, an angel rolled back the stone and spoke to Mary Magdalene.***

DO WE STILL BELIEVE IN ANGELS? In the US, a 2008 survey polled 1,700 respondents, and found that fifty-five percent of Americans, including one in five of those who say they are not religious, believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life. Thousands of personal accounts have reported interactions with angels.

BALAAM’S DONKEY: One interesting story from the Bible describes the prophet Balaam who was instructed by God to deliver a specific message. Three times Balaam beats his donkey when it stops in the middle of the road. Finally the donkey turns and speaks aloud, “I can’t move forward? Can’t you see that Angel with a sword, standing right in front of us, blocking the road? Why are you beating me?”
Balaam answers, “Because you won’t obey. If I had a sword, I’d kill you!” Finally he sees the angel who delivers God’s message and Balaam obeys. (Loose translation.)##The amazing thing is that Balaam wasn’t the least bit amazed when his donkey spoke aloud to him. Instead, he argues and curses the donkey. Something to think about…But we’ll deal with talking animals another day.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The angels in the Bible are described as masculine. In the middle century, art and mythology depicted angels as female and artists added wings. Nowadays, angels could look like any one of us. The prophet in Hebrews admonished us to be kind, even to strangers, as they may be angels in disguise.

AUTHOR CORNER: Whatever success you’ve achieved as an author is due to many people who mentored and helped you learn your craft: writing coaches, critique partners, agents, publishers and other authors. Now you can be someone’s angel by mentoring, helping and encouraging new and budding authors. Be honest but remember, a kind word goes a long way to ease a tough critique.

EVERYONE ELSE: Donkeys can be stubborn and contrary. Sometimes they hold back when they should move forward. Angels lend a helping hand in time of need. Who knows? The person you meet on any particular day may need an angel. Or…he may BE an angel. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2**** It’s your choice. Donkey…or angel?

* Luke 1:26
** Luke 2:10
*** Matthew 28:5
****Hebrews 13:2
## Numbers 22