On Being Needed

When I first heard the meowings outside the garage door, then on the back porch, I thought, "Oh, no. There’s no vacancy. Please, kitty, just go away." I churned with resentment, feeling put upon. We didn’t ask for this; we didn’t deserve this.

Now, with my soft lap warmer soothing me as her purr motor runs continuously, I find her looking up at me with those melt-your-heart eyes, and, bursting inside with joy, I think to myself, "I don’t deserve this!" I am blessed with this furry bundle on my lap and moving throughout my home. God’s grace has not only visited but come to abide with us in the form of Tigger. No, we didn’t ask for her—we were not enthused when she came calling. We failed to recognize her as a positive gift; we just felt taken advantage of, since her arrival wasn’t our idea, aware only of the added responsibility that taking her in would entail, oblivious to the fact that it was she who was doing a favor by coming to minister to us.

What would have happened if it hadn’t been cold that day and we had turned her away, not wanting to be needed, not realizing what we would have been missing in our life?

And how often does God come calling in a form and at a time that we do not expect, seemingly asking something of us but really desiring only to get in the door in order to bless us? How often do we stop up our ears, harden our hearts, think, "not now, not me, some other time or some other person, there’s no room at the inn," and miss the opportunity to receive the blessings that God desires to pour upon us?

Heidi Eger Souza

Heidi Eger Souza, a writer and pianist, is a member of Williamsburg (Va.) Meeting. She currently attends St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bath, N.C., where her husband is the rector.