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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Picking up starfish and other 3 a.m. meditations




It's 3 a.m.

Do you know where your cats are?

I know where mine are...

They are outside our bedroom door, wailing like banshees because we won't let them outside.

I hate this time of year.

Well, any time of year when it involves cats.

But especially this time of year...when the baby birds leave their nests and my cats think it's a smorgasbord on tiny little feet.

My apologies to those of you who adore cats.

There are cat lovers. And dog lovers. I am a none-of-the-above-lover.

So, you rightly ask, how come you have cats?

Because I am a sucker.

Because my heart is too big.

The same reason I do so many things.

Almost ten years ago, a friend found three adorable, innocent kittens alongside their mother in the middle of the road. The mother was dead and they needed rescuing.

Enter sucker. Me.

My daughter, bless her heart as they say in the South, needed a kitten. Or two.

I admit it's the third one that's my fault. I mean really, how can you say "yes" to two siblings and not the third? It would be like splitting up a family. Sigh.

And that, friends, is the story of my life...

Hi, I'm Arlene. I'm a sucker for anything hurting or broken. I want to save the world, and by golly, I'll do it or die trying. I'll even give up sleeping for a month if need be!

It's a sickness I inherited from my mom. Yup, she's to blame...


I have many strong memories from my childhood concerning animals.

The first was driving with my family down I-95 in CT, heading towards New York. My mother screamed as a dog ran out among the 8 lanes of traffic. I don't think there was a happy ending.

The second was BB, a cat I loved dearly who went missing. I scoured every road until I found her. Dead on the road. I cried for days.

And the third? LOTS of cats and kittens. My mom loved cats and kittens. Everywhere.

It's hard to care.

I wish I was hard-hearted. No, that's not true.

I wish I was less caring. No, that's not true either.

I wish I could "let go and let God" like they say. Yes, that's what I wish.

"You can't save all the puppies in the pound." Blue Bloods

But I want to.

I want every child to have a loving home.

Every animal to be taken care of.

Every person to have the life they were intended to have.

It's not easy living in a fallen world. Sin has ravaged creation and all in it. And we are left wondering what to do about it.

I know I play God way too often.

Sometimes I don't know where to put the pain.

The world is so big, and I am so small.

Did you ever hear the story of the Starfish?

I love this story...



On a morning like this, when I am tired and the day looms long ahead...I need to be reminded...

Why I too pick up starfish...

Why I stop on the road to help a turtle reach the other side...

Why I reach out to the lonely. The helpless. The lost.

Why I keep our cats in to give the baby birds a fighting chance.

I don't have delusions that I can save the world. Only God can do that.

But I can pray...

Knowing that God loves all people and things infinitely more than I do.

And that because He's God, He can take care of them.

And I can do my part...as small and ineffective as it may seem...

One sleepless night at a time.

And to you who do the same? Thank you.