My Life with God

Near Cat-Astrophe

The cat slipped out of the house. Not my house but someone I know well. I planned to visit several days later to hopefully be a pick-me-up (or distraction). Only when I arrived, the pet parents had just found out where their cat was—up a tree. A neighbor had spotted her. Her color made him initially wonder if she was a hawk. No, just a cat out of her comfort zone. Because her owners had placed signs around the neighborhood, the neighbor knew who to contact. And there we stood—four of us—looking into the tree, where she sat about half way to the top. We tried to coax her with a variety of motivations, but she wasn’t coming down. We needed help.

After a post in the neighborhood group chat, someone was on his way with a bucket truck. Using it would be tricky, since wires seemed to block easy access. Instead, the truck owner took another approach. He secured a rope and worked his way into and up the tree. He was so close, but the cat went farther up and out, positioning herself in a questionable place for the man to follow. But he did. We weren’t sure what he’d do if he actually reached her. Surely, she wouldn’t be excited about a stranger (or anyone) grabbing her, not to mention how he’d then descend from nearly the top of the tree. But he did it. He talked to her for a while, then grabbed her and tucked her under his arm. Once he found the most stable hold on her, he shimmied down the tree and handed her to the owner, who promptly secured her in the house. All was well. Everyone was safe. The cat ate a bit then began to settle into her routine as if nothing unusual had happened over the past several days.

The rest of us enjoyed the remainder of the beautiful day outside, often breaking into laughter as we recalled the fiasco. All’s well that ends well, but it was certainly a dramatic escape-and-lost-and-found-and-rescue.

The ups and downs and uncertainties and relief of those several days remind me of our own lives. Things change. Our situations suddenly shift with one quick dash. We deal with loss and uncertainty. We begin to heal, then something reopens the wound or we have renewed hope. With hope may come a different type of uncertainty and concern. Through the entire process, different people come in and out of our lives to help (or complicate) the situation. There are some risky moments, and there’s not much we can do but wait. Resolution comes in a variety of forms. And we reflect on that resolution with a multitude of reactions.

Whatever challenges you face today may not be resolved for a while. They might not end the way or timing you prefer. But have hope—hope that comes from a much better source than being results-dependent. Hope is always within our grasp even when so much seems to fall between our hands. Hope provides a strength even when uncertainty and confusion set in. Hope is more about presence and peace than outcome.

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