Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Transformative Power of Praying for Kittens


When I was little I wanted a pet all of my own.  I prayed for a kitten, but my parents never got me one.  I prayed for kitten, but my parents would not be swayed.

We already had a cat, but she was a grown up cat and I wanted a kitten.  A nice, small, cuddly kitten with a pink nose.  I asked my parents for a cat, but they said no.  I prayed and prayed, asked and asked, but I still only got noes. 

I asked over and over, and one day the answer changed and I knew that I had an in to getting my cat.  Instead of no, they said I needed to show that I could take care of the cat that we had already.  So it became my responsibility to feed her dinner every night.  Even if I was tired.  Even if I didn't want to,  I still had to feed the cat.

Well one day the stray cat outside my grandparents house gave birth to kittens.  There was one kitten that was the color of cream.  He was a rascal and would pounce on his siblings.  Immediately I fell in love with him and said: "Please God, let me take this kitten home!"  I dragged my dad outside - he was the one who was holding out, in large part I think because he was the one who needed to clean the litterbox - but when I put my kitten into his hands the kitten instantly began to purr and nuzzled against him.  His heart grew three sizes that day and I took him home. 

I thanked God because I finally had my cat!

But then something funny happened.  That older cat, the one I showed that I was responsible enough for a new kitten? When we brought the kitten home, she started to follow me everywhere.  She began to sleep with me every night curled up on my feet.  She even would stick her cold nose against my leg, make me jump and get under the warm covers.  The kitten and I became friends, but the cat that loved me the most was the one that I had already. 

I got my cat! And my prayer changed, from please god to thank you God!

You see, my was  not the cat that I was expecting. And God answered my prayer for a cat all of my own, with the cat that I formed a bond with proving that I was ready for my own cat. 

But you know what, here's one of the amazing ways prayer works. Because I was praying for a kitten, I learned how to take care of the cat. Because I showed I could take care of a cat, I got to have one.  Sometimes we change and learn so we can have those things we ask God for all the time, because the things we ask for are important and big responsibilities.  So all those times we ask God to give us peace in the world all the time, we get more peaceful hearts to show we're ready for that peace.  Or if we ask for more love, our hearts become more loving.  And if we ask for a cat all of our own, our hearts open up better to the new cats around us, but also the cats that we already own.

Let's pray. 

God, help us ask for big things, like love and hope and kindness.  Help us ask for those big things, so we can have bigger hearts ourselves. Help us remember to ask all the time for these big things, so we know what is important, and can live our lives with those important things. 

Amen.

--- This was the children's sermon for our March 9th worship service.

1 comment:

Margaret Ellsworth said...

"God, help us ask for big things, like love and hope and kindness. Help us ask for those big things, so we can have bigger hearts ourselves."

This is beautiful and definitely a word I need to hear. Amen. :)