The little black and white kitten, sprinkled with white just above its nose, was not planned. But you saw it and began begging and praying; you wore us down until days later we brought it home. It lounged in our backyard, sleeping under the swing set. And every few weeks it would prance down the street to the house in the center of the cul-de-sac.
And in our neighborhood, whispers ran as fast as electrical currents about the family in the center of the cul-de-sac. The family that never smiled and complained of cars parked too close or children playing too loud.
And their newest grumble was of a black and white kitten that wandered into their yard.
Animal control was called, once and then twice, each time requiring a long drive and a check written to have the kitten released.
And on the third time picking the cat up from a cramped cage, I drove back into the neighborhood tense and annoyed. And there she was, the woman with the reputation, watering her flowers. And my car veered into her driveway. And I wanted to tell her she made children cry and her cruel antics had played out long enough.
But as my window slowly rolled down, in the rear view mirror I saw you both, my daughter and my son, waiting for me to respond. To give this woman words she rightfully deserved.
I swallowed hard. “I’m sorry that our kitten walks in your yard,” I said trying to muster up a sympathetic smile. But as the words spilled, this woman with the reputation, looked less like a villain and more like a lonely lady carrying burdens too heavy for her frail frame.
And it was the beginning of many conversations shared in the center of the cul-de-sac. And it opened a door, once tightly sealed, to share with her the love of Christ.
Children, carry your testimony carefully. It is delicately fragile. There are no words or arguments worth damaging it. There will be those watching and waiting for you to speak in haste. But please tread lightly, eternity may be at stake.