Dwight Nelson, Professor of Homiletics (preaching), shared the true story about a pastor whose kitten had climbed up a tree in his backyard, then was too afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed it, offered warm milk, etc., but the kitten refused to budge. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car bumper and then drove away so the tree bent down, he’d then be able to reach up and catch the kitten. He did all this—tied the tree with a rope to his car, then moved forward slowly, getting out to check regularly to see if the tree had bent far enough. He figured if he moved a little further ahead, the tree would finally be low enough that he could grab the kitten. But as he pulled forward one last time, the rope snapped! B-O-I-N-G! The poor kitten sailed through the air, out of sight. The pastor felt very bad and walked through the neighborhood asking people if they had seen his kitten. Nobody had. Finally he prayed, “Lord, I commit this kitten into your keeping,” and went about his business.
A few days later, he was in the grocery store when he met one of his parishioners. He glanced into her shopping cart and was surprised to see cat food. Knowing that she’d said she didn’t like cats, he asked her about it. “You won’t believe this,” she replied, “but my daughter has been bugging me for the longest time for a cat, but I always said, ‘no’. Then a few days ago, she began asking me again to have a kitten. I told her, ‘Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’ So right then she went out into our backyard, got down on her knees, and prayed to God for a cat. Now you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. All of a sudden, this kitten came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed right in front of her!!!”
How much do you want to bet that the pastor didn’t say anything and let her keep the kitten??? God does work in mysterious ways!
Now in my experience, prayers aren’t usually answered in such a quick and concrete manner! This Sunday in worship ‘Prayer’ will be our focus as we reflect on Jesus’ teachings about prayer in Luke 11:1-13. I hope you’ll be there!
In Christ’s Love!
Pastor Candy Thomas (and my cat Domino)
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ