Starting Point
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Issue Date:  February 11, 2005

Starting Point


A wild beast, a wild child to be sure, describes my 6-month-old tiger-striped kitten, Jupiter. He has two speeds: “sound asleep-out like a light” and “mach five-tear the house apart.” He’s also used up a few of his nine lives, the most precarious incident occurring when he jumped into the refrigerator unbeknownst to me and got locked in.

If I go down stairs to do the laundry, he races ahead, eager to jump into the washing machine to “help.” When I open my bedroom door in the morning, there he is, lying in wait. When I walk down the hallway, he leaps out at my legs, as if to say, “What does it take to get your attention, anyway?”

His devotion, like his curiosity, knows no bounds. I can’t get any work done in my office when he’s around, so I lock him out for hours at a time. When I open the door, he races in and climbs onto my revolving chair, spinning it and pawing my computer keys or crawls into my lap and purrs.

Recently, I became guiltily aware of how little time I spend with him and that I was not returning his overt displays of affection. Instead, I was putting him off, closing the door and murmuring with preoccupation, “Later.”

So I scooped Jupiter up and laughed while he playfully bit me. It then occurred to me that God, too, faithfully waits for my devotion, time and companionship. The scripture from Isaiah 30:18, “I wait to be gracious to you,” came to mind as I realized -- and vowed to do better -- how easy it is to close the door until it is convenient.

Joni Woelfel is the author of The Edge of Greatness, Resurrection Press.

National Catholic Reporter, February 11, 2005

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