I've always believed in God. It's the way I was raised. Oh, there have been times, like when I was a teenager and questioning everything, that I had some doubts. What puzzled me, and still does, actually, is the phenomenon that the Hubble Telescope can view the expanding (and contracting) outer edge of the universe. This blows my mind. My question is: if there is an outer edge to the universe, what's on the other side?
Anywho, back to the God question: my first proof of the existence of God came at the tender age of eight. We lived in Prairie City in a huge old two-and-a-half-story house on the highway. The yard was infested with moles. My mother was determined to get rid of the critters that made tunnels all through the yard. She had Dad back the Ford onto the lawn and run a vacuum cleaner hose from the tail pipe down into one of the mole holes. They plugged all the other holes, except for one. Mom sat at the one hole that was open with a meat fork in her hand. When a mole poked its head up, gasping for air, she ran it through. Three or four moles met their demise in this manner, and the mole problem was solved.
We had a calico mama cat named Patches, with kittens. Mother would flip the skewered moles to Patches, and Patches would haul the catch away to her litter. The kittens loved it and made quite a sport of it. My mother skewering moles made a huge impression on me. If she believed in God, you better believe, I believed.
I loved Patches' kittens. One of them, my kitten—that was its name, “My Kitten”--looked just like Patches. While I was playing in the yard, and my mother was skewering moles, I jumped over a log and came right down on My Kitten with full weight. It let out a screech and then collapsed, obviously hurt. I picked up My Kitten and tried to comfort it. My Kitten was gasping for air and blood was coming from its nose. One eye swelled shut almost immediately. I was mortified and terribly sorry for my clumsiness. I carried My Kitten to my mother, and she inspected it. “This doesn't look good,” she told me. “Better put it with Patches and see what happens. If God wants My Kitten to live, it will live. We can pray.”
I placed My Kitten next to Patches, and tucked it in with the other kittens. It had no interest in nursing. It was too badly hurt. Patches licked it, and let out some soft mewing sounds, and nuzzled it.
My mother told me to get ready for bed, that I could check on My Kitten in the morning. If it was God's will, My Kitten would live, but to keep praying.
Lying in bed I tried to cry myself to sleep. It didn't work. In desperation, I sneaked out of bed, down two flights of stairs, to the garage where Patches and her kittens were. I picked up My Kitten and took it back to bed with me. It was almost lifeless and barely breathing. It was starting to get stiff. I held it to my chest and cried. “I'm sorry, My Kitten. Please, God, save it. I will do anything if You save My Kitten.” I fell asleep with My Kitten clutched to my chest.
In the morning I awoke to movement. My Kitten was playing with a button on my night shirt. It was alive and well. It was a miracle! “Thank you, God! You saved My Kitten!” I was so happy. I ran downstairs with My Kitten to show Mom and my sister. “God saved My Kitten,” I shouted.
“For land sake,” my mother said. “He sure did. Prayers answered.” My sister rolled her eyes.
There was no doubt in my mind that God had healed My Kitten. Sure, I know that cats have nine lives, and all that claptrap, but there is nothing more powerful than prayer and the faith of a child. The universe may be expanding or contracting. I dunno. But I do know what's on the other side now. God.
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