Apr 232011

Little Choga

We found her on Little Choga Road, in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of North Carolina. It was pouring rain, and forty degrees out. She looked like a drowned kitty … well … she WAS a drowned kitty. It took us about an hour to coax her up to my truck. We’d get close to her, then she would hiss and snarl and dart away. If it had been up to me I would have left her out there to hiss and snarl at somebody else’s truck. But my daughter and wife would have none of it. Eventually they caught her and wrapped her in a coat and brought her home, where the two of them ganged up on her to give her a warm bath. (Ever try to give a bath to a cat? Yikes!) We named her Little Choga, after the road where we rescued her. The next day my wife drove her to the vet, where she (the cat, not my wife) received about eighty five dollars worth of shots and vaccinations and pills. This cat has been showered with love, and affection and food, and pills and about everything else that you’d think a drowned mountain kitty would crave. This is a much loved kitty.

Here’s the problem. She seems scared to death of us, and so, for the last two weeks, she’s been camped out under our bed. She won’t come out. Every once in awhile I’ll force her out, and hold her for a few minutes.  But, as soon as I put her down, she’s back under that bed. I wish I could speak cat. I’d tell her, in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, “You stupid cat! Don’t you get it?! We went to a whole lot of hassle to rescue you.  We’re on your side! We have no plans to do you any harm! We’re not going to cook you! We’re not going to feed you to our dog! We’re not going to turn you into violin strings! We’re just going to love you. COME OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED!!!”

Of course, I don’t speak cat, so she seems to remain confused. What’s a guy to do? Well, I plug along the best I can. I keep feeding her, and occasionally, when she’ll let me, I stroke her ears a bit. Who knows? She may come around.

And, all too often, here I hide, curled up in a tight little ball, under my bed, hissing and snarling at the One who loves me most. I tell Him, in ways both obvious and obtuse, “You’re not gonna get me. I’m staying under this bed ‘cause you are too big!” And that’s when He reminds me (He DOES speak human, you know) in a nice, soft, don’t-frighten- the-stupid -human voice, “Hey. I’m all for you, Kiddo. That’s why I rescued you in the first place. I’ve got everything you’ll ever need, and I want you to enjoy it. Just come out from under that bed.” Some days I hear him and stick out a paw. Some days I just stay curled up under here. But He keeps at me, thank God. Who knows! One day I may actually come all the way out and let Him really stroke my ears.

Apr 202011

Godly Audacity

Recently, while in New York City, my wife and I were walking back from dinner when we saw this brightly lit sign: “Genius Tailor”. Fortunately, I had my camera with me, and was able to snap a photo. I simply loved the audacity of this sign. “Genius Tailor”. It sort of says it all. Here is a guy who has landed on who he is, and what he’s about. He’s a tailor. But he’s not just a tailor.  He’s a genius tailor, and secure enough in that knowledge to put it in lights.

This morning, as I sat in my favorite coffee shop and memorized a short monologue for an upcoming event, I relived a recurring realization: I simply love what I do. I love writing. I love acting. I love knitting together a story or monologue and moving an audience or a reader somewhere further down the continuum toward Real Life.  I don’t quite have the audacity to announce “Genius” in big, bright letters. But, I do believe that it’s what God made me good at. So … maybe I should have that audacity.  Maybe it would be Godly Audacity.   The Book says, “We have this Treasure in clay pots, to show that the real power is from God, and not from us.”  I think that sometimes our problem might not be in claiming “Genius”. Our problem, instead, might be in thinking that “Genius” comes from us and not from God.

So … today, as you carpool kids, or sit over coffee with a friend, or organize an event, or prepare a talk, or pay your bills, or rehearse a song, or administrate an office, or tailor a suit, or … whatever it is that you stitch together… I hope you have the Godly Audacity to land on “Genius,” knowing that it is He who gave you the thread in the first place.

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