Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cat Bones in a Tree

Last week a strange cat entered our backyard. Our cat is named Mister. He considers our backyard his domain and quickly scared the stuffing out of the trespassing cat sending it high up into the branches of a maple tree. Since the leaves were all gone, the only visible color displayed in the tree was from the ruffled fur of the cat now frozen in fear high up in the tree branches far away from the claws and fangs of my guard cat. I looked at my cat and smiled like a proud father whose son just hit the winning homerun in a playoff game.

The cat in our backyard tree reminded me of a situation when I was a young cop. I got a call to “assist the citizen”. Upon my arrival a very concerned woman met me at the sidewalk. I could see she was in distress. The first words out of her mouth as she frantically pointed up into a tree were, “My cat is up in the tree and she is afraid to come down. Please get her down.”  I knew I wasn’t climbing up the tree to get the cat, nor would the fire department dispatch a ladder truck to accomplish the rescue. In a moment of inspiration beyond my twenty-five years of life experience I asked the woman, “Have you every seen cat bones in a tree?” To which she responded, “No”. I went on to tell her that if she simply went inside her house and gave the cat time it would eventually find it’s way down the tree and back to terra firma.  I am assuming the cat finally made it back to earth because I did not get a return call.

These cat stories remind me how some people are dealing with the stressful situations in life. A lot of good people are standing at the base of their tree of concern trying to coax a political point of view or some distressful family situation out of the tree. They think by standing there and looking up their words will somehow convince the situation to come back down to earth. The reality is some things just need time, not our words. There are important things in life that do need our immediate action, but not all things. We need to ask God for the discernment to know when to walk back into the house and let a situation play out and when to actually climb the tree.

Your greatest act of faith is not to wait patiently at the base of your particular tree of concern. There are some situations that will require you to walk away and let God sort things out. Cats have the ability to find a way down from the top of a tree without your help and so will some of the challenging situations you are currently facing.

I left the trespassing cat in the tree in our backyard and went back inside our house. I had a cup of coffee and got on with my life. An hour later, I went outside and noticed the tree limbs were bare of both leaves and the trespassing cat. All is good.

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