What Really Happens

Is it your birthday? Or do you just like setting cakes on fire?

A levitating kitten, the mystical alignment of moons, stars, and planets above a desert, and a girly cake decorated with glittery frosting and candies; pink candles set ablaze by the feline ninja mind-and-laser-paws method: It’s my son Jared’s latest birthday card selection, given on my fifty-seventh just last month. It’s a new one, but in keeping with the others he’s given me over the past decade. I never know what’s waiting in those innocuous envelopes on top of my presents, but I am certain that it will be visually interesting. Quirky messages are always on the inside – one that comes with the card (written above), and his own: This is the real image of what Magic does at 3am if we forget to close the doors…

I like the idea that the noises our cat Magic makes at night are more than him batting pens across the floor. The heavy thumps might be the sounds of an epic battle against the forces of evil, not just our cat Taylor jumping off the rocker. Sleep, darkness, and walls keep 3am happenings out of sight; could there be more going on I imagine?

In the most literal sense, those 3am noises come from cats doing cat things – no lasers or levitation. But in the truer sense, I really don’t know what’s going on; I can’t read feline minds, and I don’t see what they do. In the yard outside my window, the wind moves branches. Animals fly through trees and pad softly under shrubs. Plants keep to their own lives, growing below and above ground. All this while I sleep, a negligible part of this nighttime reality. I am part of something so much bigger, even when I’m unaware of it.

I think that’s marvelous, and definitely worth setting a cake on fire.

 

 

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “What Really Happens”

  1. The artist definitely understands nocturnal and mysterious cat behavior.
    Jared picked out the perfect birthday card to make you smile and want to celebrate your day.
    Special cards to give or send to someone can be wonderful works of art, to use as bookmarks or to frame for a particular wall. ~Robin

    1. I agree! I have them in many different places in my home – but usually use them as bookmarks. It’s a lovely gift of visual beauty holding my place in a verbal world. peace, Johnna

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