The Cat Who Walked by Faith: Sermon for July 16, 2023

A container of Kentucky Fried Chicken appeared to be dancing in the middle of the dark street, with a life of its own, so we stopped to investigate.

Out of the chicken box crawled a terribly skinny kitten with long black fur and bright white paws. She had been making that box dance as she tried to lick out the last crumb for nourishment. Now, she purred, leaning into me with her whole body. We adopted that little stray and named her Little Boots.

So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (NRSV)

Little Boots thrived with cat food, a trip to the vet, and lots of love. But she remained very small, and displayed the silliest behavior. She would sneak up on our other cats, as if to attack them, but she would be right in front of them, in plain sight. By the time she pounced, the cats had moved away. She couldn’t figure out how they knew she was coming.

It was only when we found her walking on a second-story porch rail, precariously sticking her paw out into the air to feel for her next step, that we realized the obvious. Little Boots was blind.

My admiration of that cat’s resilience multiplied. Nothing stopped her. When she ran into a wall, she turned back and ran the other way. When she walked into a piece of furniture, she remembered where it was the next time. She didn’t sit still. Her little white paws were always out in the air in front of her, testing, to find her next foothold.

To my eyes, Little Boots was tiny and the world was dangerous.

But to Little Boots, life was walked by faith, not sight.

Wonderful Creator, you have populated your world with so many creatures, and we human beings are but one example of your handiwork. Help us to see your majesty in all your animals, from the roaring lion to the courageous kitten. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel serves as Conference Minister with the Michigan Conference UCC. She is the author of Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To and When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough.