Sunday, January 23, 2011

Change for a peaceable kingdom?

January 23, 2011

Dear friends,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my sister’s cat has come to live with me. This week I am still simply counting changes in this household—haven’t begun to have an idea what it all means.

She is beautiful, with long white hair. She has an aristocratic air about her, but a friendly disposition. She is welcoming to all who come here and seeks to be petted at once. She rewards those who do so with ample samples of her long white hair deposited on their clothes.

She has been relatively calm and peaceful, but does not want to be left alone. She is sleeping quietly on a chair beside me as I write.

At night as I prepare for sleep, I am aware that now there is another living creature also preparing to sleep under this sheltering roof.

In the night when I waken she awakens and comes to check on me. I do not know if she is trying to understand my habits or if she is simply observing an odd behavior of this human whom she now assumes she owns.

She has opinions. She thought my afternoon nap had gone on long enough, so gently climbed up on me and patted my face with her paw until I stirred. It appears likely that she will train me eventually, but the process may prove difficult for her, the poor dear. I’m an ancient case to undertake to teach new tricks.

I can see already that this small wordless creature now sheltering with me calls me to think in new ways about my relationship with all parts of God’s kingdom. Jesus often reminded his followers that the kingdom of God is now. What do you suppose this means when I am annoyed by the need to vacuum rugs and furniture one more time, and feel distinctly disinterested in cleaning the litter box?

The Scripture text gives us one picture of kingdom life in which the lion lies down peaceably with the lamb. What kind of changes will this require?

Thinking with you about changes that lead to peaceable living in God’s peaceable kingdom,


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