Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Banjo the Cat's Insights in Matthew 7:7

Hi Friends!

Sometimes, I just have the blahs. Sometimes it's just one of those days when things just keep going wrong, encouragment is scarce, obstacles loom, and I'm just not seeing the vision. Today is one of those days.

So, I sit in my office and look out the big, glass windows. Our cat, Banjo, spies me from outside, runs to hte screen door, and starts scratching. Big holes are in the screen from where he's done this before. I know what he's scratching about. The raccoons have gotten into his food again, and he needs a refill. So, I get up, refill his food, and he stops scratching and starts happily munching.

Then, I'm reminded of how we got our cat and what he's taught me about prayer. Here's a little bit about that:

Rat tat tat. A muffled tapping reverberated from the windowpane beside my office desk. I stood, and the sound stopped. Slowly, I reached for the shade. Before I could reach it - Thump, thump, thump.

“Who’s there?” My whispered hiss dissolved in the night.

Silence answered, followed again by the insistent rapping.

I took a deep breath, lifted the corner of the shade, and peeked outside. Round, green eyes peered back at me. I dropped the shade.

“Bryan, you aren’t going to believe this.”

Bryan sauntered in from the other room.

This time, I pulled up the shade all the way to reveal a gray, furry face lit by the glow of my office lamp. “Meow.” The cat blinked, then batted his paw against the glass again.

Bryan stepped closer. “Whose cat is that?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “I’ve never seen him before.”

We contemplated the cat.

The cat contemplated us.

I glanced at Bryan. “I think he’s hungry.”

He crossed his arms. “You know we can’t --”

“I know.” I sighed. We had plenty of stray cats crossing our property, so we knew that unless we wanted a cat farm, we’d better not put out any food. But then, none of those cats had ever come knocking at the window.

“Meow.” The cat rubbed his cheek against the window then squished his nose against the pane.
I walked toward the door and opened it.
A moment later, Bryan appeared behind me. “Here.” He held up an opened can of tuna.

I grinned, took the can, and set it down on the porch.

The next morning, we opened the door to find the cat curled in a ball on the doormat.

Bryan shook his head. “Well, it looks like we have a pet cat.”

“You don’t like cats.”

“I know.”

We stood for a moment in silence.

“Let’s name him Banjo.”

I smiled. “Okay.”

Bryan opened the door, and the cat trotted in like he’d been doing it for years.

In Matthew 7:7 (NIV), Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” I’ve always been caught up in the idea that sometimes I’ve asked God and I’ve not received what I’ve asked for. But Banjo has given me new insight into the verse.

Unlike the other cats on our property, Banjo took a risk because he was hungry, for food and for love. He decided to try, to persist, to not give up. He knocked on the window until someone came, until I went out and met his need.

To us, Banjo was just a stray cat. To God, I’m a beloved child. So, if I respond to Banjo’s bold persistence, how much more will God respond to me, whom he loves.

And just like Banjo, I may not get exactly want I’m wanting – after all, if Banjo had his way, he’d curl up on our bed and make it his own. But, while we sometimes let him in, we’ve decided he’s better as an outdoor cat. He still bats at the window whenever he wants food, or attention. And we still feed him, play with him, and call him our own. We’ve gotten him a collar with his name, a little house to sleep in outside, a food bowl and a water dish. He’s our cat now, and we make sure that even though he may not get everything he wants, he has everything he needs.

These days, when I feel like giving up in prayer, when I’m tempted to think that nothing matters and there's little hope, I remember Banjo’s furry face pressed against the windowpane. And I remind myself that God will feed me, will give me what I need in him, and more importantly, welcomes me into his loving family. So, when I’m cold, hungry, and it’s dark outside, I’m going to keep knocking on the window to heaven and meowing my heart to God.