The Marshall family has taken on a project. We are fostering a baby kitten. It all started one quiet night when I received texted photos of a helpless little kitten. The poor animal had been left by its mother and one of our parishioners was caring for it. Unfortunately, the other animals in her household didn’t accept the little kitten. Either someone needed to care for it or it was going to the shelter.
The kitten looks like a baby version of our much-beloved cat, Pancake; and, we’re suckers, so, we took the kitten in. None of us have ever raised a kitten who was four weeks old. She/he (it’s hard to tell at this age) is completely dependent upon Ethan and Christi. She needs milk fed from a dropper. She can’t clean herself or even go to the bathroom on her own without some encouragement. Now, a week later, she’s starting to eat wet food out of a dish and is well on her way to be cat box trained. Although she usually sleeps through the night, she wakes Ethan up around 6:30 every morning.
This little kitten lives for the moment. She walks right off the side of the couch and loves to see what tight fit she can get into – under a chair, between a bookcase, under books. Once she is stuck she will emit a very loud “meeuuuww,” until she is rescued. This animal has no idea where her next meal is coming from, what would happen if she fell off the couch, or whether we will return home when we leave. Yet, she has the same bright optimism for life. She keeps doing what kittens do – meowing, eating, sleeping, playing and being just as cute as cute can be. This cat lives in the present without any fear of the future or remorse from the past.
I wonder if this is how we look to God. Or maybe, this is the life that Jesus calls us to – complete dependence upon God. Jesus calls us to live in the moment. He also tells us to have no fear and to not dwell on the past. There have been times in my life when, like this kitten, I walk unknowingly toward the end of the couch. Yet, God always steps in to redirect me. I’d like to think the food I eat is a result of my work and the ability to purchase it. Yet, I am reminded that all of it – my work, finances, food – belongs to, and is a blessing from, God. Likewise, our church has no rainy day fund. We have no reserve. We live month to month on the blessings that everyone provides through their faithful giving.
At the beginning of this Reflection, I said we are fostering the cat. The plan was to get it strong enough for someone else to adopt. Plus, we have two cats – Oscar the dominant one and Pancake the ambivalent one. Despite his title, Pancake is interested in the kitten and will occasionally clean it. Oscar, however, has yet to meet the cute ball of fur. He smells it, hears it, but as of yet, has not been whisker to whisker. It’s a long process. Luckily, Oscar seems to be living in the moment too and doesn’t seem to have any fear of the future, nor any remorse of the past. Nevertheless, feel free to place your bets on whether the Marshall household will be back down to two cats or whether we will have three. After all, we do our best and know that it’s all up to God.