There is a neighborhood cat who visits us several times a week. He is healthy, big and friendly so I assume this black and white feline has a home. He wants to live with us. He likes to lie on our porch, talks to us when we use what he thinks is his sidewalk. I have told this creature in various tones and volumes that we don’t want a pet. We invite and host guest pets frequently. In fact, Molly the dog is sleeping next to me in my office at this moment—a day visit. We just don’t need a resident cat or dog. We are satisfied with the one Nuthatch, Woodpecker, a transient pair of Cardinals and 16,000 sparrows.

The real problem with the neighborhood cat is lack of manners.

Our treadmill is at eye level with the side lawn. I can listen to podcasts and look at the sunrise, then the day unfolding on our street and neighborhood. The cat has never—to my knowledge—ever seen me walking on the treadmill while looking out the window. I don’t want to be crude or insensitive, here. The cat feels some compulsion to spray on my window. I don’t think it is personal. Perhaps the cat is making a comment?

I have purchased and tried several home made concoctions to scare deer, bears and cats away. I have explained to that cat its behavior may carry severe consequences which the cat listened to, but ignored. It wanders away talking to me in a tone that sounds like it doesn’t deal well with rejection.

In the summer, I make sure the window is tightly closed and hose it off while filling the bird fountain, but in this cold weather that doesn’t work.

There it is on my ground level window. I see the lawn, neighborhood and contemplate my day through the evidence of the cat’s visit.

Several people of various ages—people we do not know well, but well enough to have heard their stories—have visited our lives in recent months. Years ago, they were abused, abandoned, assaulted, neglected and thrown away. But right there in direct view is the memory and emotional evidence. They can’t view anything in their lives except through “that.” What happened, years ago, is present as if it happened day before yesterday and it is the filter through which they see everything else.

These words have been nagging at me for several weeks:

“How can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust, if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?” (Romans 17:11-15).

A good news speaker. Our new acquaintances need someone in whom they have confidence to tell them there is One who cleanses not only the past, but the cataract left behind.

A couple of days ago, I put on elbow length, steel lined rubber gloves and with industrial strength window cleaner I washed my window on the world. While washing, I confessed those “things” that have filtered my view. I also asked God to send hand-picked proclaimers into the lives of the new acquaintances.

God not only sent angel choirs, wise men with gifts, but window washers and One to be trusted. That is a reason to sing!

©2014 D. Dean Benton

Writer, Wonderer, Window Washer

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