thundercat ho!*

There’s a video that has gone ‘viral’ which shows a small boy being attacked by a dog and an unlikely rescuer. You can watch it here if you don’t know what I am on about. (Be warned that other versions include a close up of the injury the boy received). Watch it now or read on (spoilers)…

cat v dogThe unlikely rescuer is the family’s cat. It really is astonishing as the rogue dog is dragging the little boy by the leg and the cat streaks towards the dog like a missile: knocking the dog off the boy and then chasing it away. If you haven’t watched it, do follow the link above and watch it. It is incredible.

Why are we so amazed? Is it because of the size difference between the cat and the dog? Is it because of the stereotype of cats – that they are self-centred and use humans to serve them – and we have never seen such protectiveness before? Is it because we have never seen a cat act like that anyway?

I don’t know all of the family circumstances but the way the cat acted so protectively makes me think that it experiences love and affection from its family – so much that it feels that it is part of the family and its protective instinct kicked in when it saw one of its family under attack.

It made me reflect on how we are as a church. We have our Christian faith in common, but we can do more to get to know one another better. Are we so committed to one another, feeling part of this local church family, that our ‘protective’ instinct kicks in when someone else is in trouble and we immediately want to help by praying and offering our support?

If you are part of our local church family and would like to be a part of a group that will seek to help us with that, please do let me know.

If you aren’t, where is your sense of belonging and loyalty? What binds you to those other people?

Apparently the strongest force in the Universe is the Strong Nuclear Force that binds together the nucleus of atoms.

Or is it love? Not mushy romantic attraction but the ‘with you through thick and thin, nothing will stop me’ love. (Cue a visit to 1 Corinthians 13)

Be blessed, be a blessing.

*Sorry if your knowledge of cartoons doesn’t extend to the Thundercats of the 1980s.

men are dogs, women are cats

First things first, I would like to clarify some bloggerel from earlier this week before I launch a ground-breaking new theory on you all.

A couple of days ago I blogged about targeted advertising. Having re-read the blog I realise that it could be interpreted as a dig at events like ‘Back to Church Sunday’. It’s not intended like that. I would like EVERY Sunday to be Back to Church Sunday, but my point was that if all we do is focus on those who are overtly interested or at least ‘warm’ with the good news of Jesus there will be a lot of people we exclude.

I fear that fear is the reason why we do that. It’s easier and safer to bring someone who is interested to church. (Hallelujah when they do come!) But, to blatantly misquote Jesus – he did not come for the interested alone, but came for the disinterested, disillusioned, disappointed and antagonistic as well. And inviting these people to church may not be the best place to start. For some, it may be, but for others we need to meet them where they are – in their homes, at work, or even up a a sycamore tree. It’s a tried and tested way of helping people to discover that God loves them and wants to know them.

Now that I have clarified that (or muddied the waters further) I would like to share a concept on which my brain was working yesterday while I had a day off in lieu of last Saturday (explains why yesterday only had a joke). It may revolutionise the way we understand gender differences and there may be a book and a documentary series in it at some stage. Let me set the scene:

As well as relaxing, catching up on some telly programmes I had not had chance to watch, reading and whacking some balls at the driving range I also did some jobs around the house. I did some clothes washing, tidied the kitchen, hung the clothes out to dry, cooked tea and a couple of other bits and pieces.

As I was hanging out the second load of washing I was feeling pleased with myself. I thought, ‘won’t Sally be pleased with me’. Then I thought, ‘I bet she never ever thinks that when she does the washing.’

So I developed a theory. Never mind men and women coming from mars and venus. Men are dogs, women are cats.

Men as dogs:

We expect to be told that we have done a good job when we have done something that women do without any recognition: “well done, good boy”

We are fascinated by balls and will chase them at every opportunity: football, cricket, rugby, golf…

We have our favourite places to sit and fall asleep (although we don’t usually have to turn around three times first)

We find toilet humour funny: what do dogs sniff?

We are delighted at simple things (tail wags) like a cup of coffee, football results (when they go our way), jokes, and expect everyone else to share our happiness (tail wags harder)

Women as cats:

They are in charge

Because of this first similarity I dare not go any further!

Be blessed, be a blessing

reflecting on an awesome photo

What do you make of this picture? I can’t remember where I found it online (so if it was from your website, thank you and I hope you don’t mind me using it here). The picture fascinates me for many reasons:

Reason the first: how disciplined must those dogs be?! All of them look ready to pounce on the cat but are holding back. I wish I had that sort of self-control.

Reason the second: how brave is that cat? It seems completely unphased by the horde of onlooking canines. It is happily going about its business regardless of the potential for disaster. How often do I hold back because of fear rather than stepping out in faith?

Reason the third: is it a genuine picture? Did this really happen or has some genius created the picture with the aid of clever software and a diabolical sense of humour? Reasons I am unsure about the genuineness are that the cat is walking through a puddle (or is it a poodle?) and they usually avoid water; and there are no ripples in the puddle. But are there times when I am looking at things the wrong way, or making assumptions that are untrue?

Reason the fourth: every time I look at it I smile. The potential for captions, what happened next or the back story behind the picture is fantastic. Can I be the cause of making other people smile – not because of my failings but because I bring joy to them?

Reason the fifth: sometimes I may be feeling like the cat and sometimes I may be like one of the dogs. In either case the picture reminds me to think of how people feel if they are the dogs or cats in those circumstances.

No joke today, just the picture to enjoy!