Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Thought Expressed
In the right context, sure. You tried hard to pick out a lovely gift but it was not quite the right color. The thought counted. Or you made the phone call to an old friend on their birthday, but they were out of town and you had to leave a message. The thought counted. You picked a bouquet of flowers for a sad friend and it made her sneeze. But the thought counted. A lot!
But if you only thought about picking out the gift? Or you only thought about making the phone call or giving flowers? Sorry. Those thoughts don't count.
Because the thought was never expressed.
How can the thought count if no one knows you "thunk" it? ;)
This was brought home to me twice this week...
Once was when my daughter thoughtfully reminded me on Facebook that I have not updated my blog site in well over a year.
In the comments section under her remark, I brushed it off. So what? No one's missed it. Therefore, it's obviously just a waste of time. If I feel the need to write, I don't have to publish it on the web. What's the point of doing that if no one cares to read it?
Immediately I had 3 comments from people claiming that they had looked for it several times and missed it.
Okay, but how am I to know that? If you missed it but didn't tell me, how does your thought count?
Besides, I mentally wrote several blog entries, just never had the time to actually post them. I thought about it...
Yeah, I thought, but I didn't express the thought. I can't exactly reproach someone else for doing the same thing I did, can I? :)
Maybe I'd better work on some follow-through myself!
The second thing occurred Sunday morning. We were on our way to church, driving through the state forest area near our home, when John suddenly stopped the car and began backing up. I found out why when he jumped out and went to the side of the road...
A beautiful calico cat had recently been killed in an accident there.
And she sure looked a lot like ours.
And I hadn't seen ours since Saturday morning.
Now I'm not really a cat person. Probably it has something to do with their independent natures as well as my oxygen addiction and the tendency of my throat to close up when I'm in close proximity to cats. Breathing just seems more important to me than cuddling up to an animal which doesn't really care if you live or breathe as long as you feed it.
But our calico, Friskie, is truly the sweetest cat I have ever known. She stays outside most of the time, catching mice and teasing the dog and rubbing against our ankles when she wants attention. In the 10 years she's been alive, her disposition has always been gentle (unless the dog is in her face), and she's the best momma cat I've seen. Every one of our friends who has one of her kittens has raved over their personalities and gentle ways.
So although I don't typically fawn over her or even pay much attention to her, I do place high value on her... something I didn't realize till Sunday when I looked into the face of a dead calico by the side of the road.
Another calico does live somewhere in our neighborhood. I've seen it around. Could it be possible that this one was not ours? Not that I wished for someone else's pet to be gone, but it sure would be nice if it weren't ours... "Nope," my husband said. "It's Friskie. I'm sure of it."
So we went on to church, and I participated in the service without letting anyone know I was grieving over a silly furry creature who has been part of our family life for over a decade now. She was just a cat, right? But she was important to me. And suddenly I wondered if she knew that. She didn't ask for much from us, but didn't she deserve to know we thought she was special? But she was just a cat. Just a cat.
My thoughts went round and round till I was nearly dizzy with self-justification. I know I didn't pay much attention to her, but I took care of her, right? I made sure she had food, water, and shelter, took her to the vet, made sure she was protected when pregnant or nursing kittens. Sure, I know I didn't really express a lot of affection to her during those ten years, but I really did treasure her. She knew that, right?
But how could she, if I didn't express it?
What a lesson in expressing to those around us how much we value them while we still have time to do it! How will they ever know, unless the thought is expressed?
I have no idea what the church lesson was about. I was busy preaching myself one. The thought doesn't count unless it's expressed.
I know that. I just keep forgetting. I hope I remember it a little better this time!
When we returned home, there was Friskie, lying on the porch in a patch of sunlight. As we walked down our the long path from the driveway to the house, she reared up her head and shot us a baleful glance, yawned, stretched, and went back to sleep. What a relief! I didn't care that she was doing the independent cat thing -- I hugged and petted her and told her how glad I was that she was okay. She opened one eye and looked at me as if to say, "Yeah, yeah, now would you quit interrupting my nap?"
Typical cat! :)
But you know what? She has been more cuddly, more seeking of companionship this week than she has in ages. Maybe even cats need to know they're important to someone. Maybe even a cat needs to have the thought expressed.
Because it's only when the thought is expressed that it actually counts.