The Cat at the Baptism

I was so excited about a trip to my beloved Japan in the fall of 2017! I would say a few words at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Sannobara Church in Isehara, where my husband Mark’s parents worked for so long. I expected to recall many moving, spiritual memories from which I’d pull some appropriate words to say. Instead, everything that came to mind was hysterical.

cat sketchFor example: S-san was being baptized in the lovely little pond of the outdoor Japanese garden. As he came up out of the water, the friend holding the towel started across the narrow, arched, stone bridge. Just as he reached the highest point, a cat shot out of the bushes. The cat arrived between the towel guy’s legs exactly as he was mid-step, causing the cat to be scissored between the legs. The cat let out a terrific MEOWWWL and sailed on to parts unknown. Mercifully, the towel guy did not fall into the pond. But he did do a cute little dance before he recovered his balance. Oddly, other bystanders barely seemed to notice this spectacular turn of events. But my shoulders were quaking in a supreme effort to keep from laughing out loud. Mark beside me felt the movement and, assuming I was overcome with emotional spiritual joy (especially since S-san had had a troubled life), put a soothing arm around me. Then he noticed I was laughing. Irritated, he gave me what I must say was a quite unnecessary shove. Of course, this made it even funnier to me.

As I thought more, I DID have spiritually deep memories coming to the surface, along with these funny ones. I decided to share a mix at the celebration. After all, isn’t that real life?

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