Yesterday I found a dead kitten on our street. He looked four weeks old, maybe six. He was covered in black and brown patches of fur. His tiny lifeless body was laid out just like he was sleeping. Except for the tiny pool of blood beside him, I would have thought he was.
I was running late for work, but I couldn’t just leave him there. I reached down and touched him—no reaction. He was definitely dead. I wanted to find his owner, to tell them what had happened, to care for the kitty in his last moments, even though he was already gone.
Doesn’t make much sense. Didn’t have much chance of success. But I was compelled to try.
I was compelled to try.
I gently picked him up in both hands, one hand supporting his minuscule body, the other cradling his head. His body was still warm. It must have just happened. In that moment, I loved him. I spoke to him (I don’t know why) and told him I would try to find his owner.
I took him to the nearest house, rested him against my hip, and rang the doorbell. No one home. Undeterred, I tried the next house. Hallelujah! Someone was home. Did they own a kitten? No, sorry, we don’t own a kitten. OK, thanks anyway.
I tried the next house. And the next. I crossed the road and tried a few houses on the other side. Nada.
Now I really was late for work. Tears brimming in my eyes, I laid him down on the grassy verge, out of harm’s way. I apologised to him. I promised myself if he was still there in the afternoon, I would take him to the vet to see if they could track down the owner.
I never saw him again.
I felt like a tiny piece of my heart, the size of a kitten, had broken.
When I got home that afternoon, I felt like a tiny piece of my heart, the size of a kitten, had broken. I went into my house to find my own cat ready to greet me. I sat down and patted her, more than usual, and gave her a long cuddle.
I think faith is sometimes like that. We pick up tiny pieces of it and wander around, cradling it in our arms, hoping to find the owner. And even when we get turned away, still we feel compelled to try again. And again. And again.
Sometimes we lose those little pieces of faith. They are not where we last put them. They are nowhere to be found. We may despair, believing they are lost for good. We may believe we will never see them again.
Some days we walk in the door and faith is there, waiting to greet us.
And some days we walk in the door and faith is there, waiting to greet us, like it never left. We sit down with our faith and spend a little time together. We feel comforted. We feel reassured. We cannot believe it ever left us.
And maybe it never did.
Have you ever lost a piece of your faith? Did you find it again? How has faith surprised you or shown up in ways least expected? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.