The Things Outside the Window

One of the nicer things about being a house cat is staying in the house.  I used to worry terribly about either Susie or Delia bolting out an open door, but now as cat “senior citizens”, I’m pretty certain they’re wise enough not to do that.

When we had only gotten the two of them and they were but months old, Susie managed to slip by either Michael or me and get out the door. Not only did she slip out the door, but she managed to slip by us on one of the darkest, rainiest fall nights we had had in a while. Michael and I were busy putting groceries away and I noticed Delia jumping up toward the door knob, almost trying to turn it. She did it again and again and again. And then I heard this faint mewing on the other side of the wooden door. I opened it and there was a very frightened and dampened Susie, regretting her decision to embark upon the world. Very grateful to her sister who suffered the indignity of miming the hysteria of Rin Tin Tin. That was Susie’s last trip outside.

Susie’s and Delia’s view of the world is framed by windows. Yes, they’re safe. They’re in no jeopardy of meeting any angry alley cats. They’re in no need of food. They’re in no rush to find a warm space. But just like their friends outside, they create their own fears.

Just like me, they hesitate to put everything in God’s hands. They react to loud noises. They hide from some people. They run as soon as the cat carrier appears.

They love to watch things from the window. In a sunny window sill. From atop the red chair. On top of the forbidden table. Protected. Safe. Distant from harm.

I think I like watching things from the window, too. Protected. Safe. Distant from harm. But I’m not meant to observe life in a frame. I’m meant to live life from frame to frame.

God’s hand is there whether I’m inside or out.

Susie didn’t get locked out. The alley cats on our block have a whole lot of neighbors putting cans of tuna down by the shed. My cats sit in the window. The alley cats look in. Life looks different on each side of the windowpane. No matter. God is on both sides and His hand is there to help.


I am the Lord, your God,

who grasp your right hand;

It is I who say to you,” Fear not,

I will help you”.

Isaiah 41:13

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