Kittens in your attic?
Posted: April 12, 2006
…or, behind every dark cloud there’s a silver lining.
Recently, while I was at a training project Kathy heard a terrible racket up in the ceiling above our bathroom. It sounded like a cat. It wasn't too long afterwards that she began to hear the unmistakable sounds of kittens. When I came home the following day, I was given a new job description... "find out what's going on up there".
Being a procrastinator when it comes to climbing up into the attic (especially in hot season), I put off my mission for a few days. I was hoping that the mother cat would eventually realize that our attic was a poor place to raise a family (our roof leaks) and move on. On Wednesday, we didn't hear the kittens meowing any longer, so on Thursday I initiated "Operation Kitgo" and climbed up into the attic with my ever faithful sidekick, Melvin, our yardman.
With overcast skies, the attic was surprisingly, quite pleasant. As our flashlights penetrated the galvanized darkness, we gingerly made our way over to the suspected kitten hideout, trying not to put a foot through the ceiling. Upon our arrival we found one deceased, calico kitten, about the size of a small, Russett potato. I guess the mother must have taken the other living kittens to an undisclosed location because they were no where in sight.
I don't enjoy retrieving the carcasses of dead animals. It's a tough job without a lot of glory. Nevertheless, after positioning myself and summoning all of my manly virtue, I asked Melvin to pick up the dead feline. Working carefully, we respectfully placed the kitten in a plastic bag and then began to make our way to the hole through which we had entered the attic. Just then it happened.
Melvin, a former electrician, pointed out that all the wiring in our attic was, shall we say, done poorly. I believe the Tagalog word is "pangit", meaning “ugly”. In fact, the irresponsible contractor who did this would get his pants sued off if he was living in the great state of California! Junction boxes with no covers, wires running exposed, and other safety violations everywhere. It was at that precise moment that I realized my house was A TICKING TIME BOMB! Any little spark could ignite a conflagration that would consume the roof, and us under it. (Not a pretty sight, as I don't sleep in fire-retardant underwear).
Trying to be positive, Melvin assured me that this sort of thing is quite common and that he had seen it many times before. Somehow, his words seemed heavy as I contemplated my next move. After exiting the attic, I called our landlord and shared with him the news that every landlord wants to hear. "Excuse me sir, your house needs to be re-wired." Thankfully, he assured me that he would get on it right away. (hopefully this year)
Being a reflective person by nature, I began to ponder if there might be a spiritual lesson wrapped up in this experience. Kittens in ceiling (annoying) = finding bad wiring (good). After a few seconds it hit me like a thunderclap... Yes, sometimes good things can come out of bad. In fact, a few Bible verses began to spring into my mind. Like James 1:2, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work SO THAT you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
And then verse twelve, "BLESSED is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." And not the least, 1st Peter 1:6-7, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come SO THAT your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
If we respond properly to annoying trials in the form of adverse circumstances, or people, good can come from it. Trials reveal to us who, and what, we really believe. They can help us mature. Sure it doesn't feel good while you're in the process, but if you keep in mind the end goal = maturity (conformity to Christ), and his glorification, you can appreciate their value and keep pressing on.
"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:3
So, don't be fooled by those annoying kittens in your attic. God may have allowed them to show you your faulty wiring. Now it's your opportunity to do something about it.
Growing with you,
Chris & Kathy