My eighth-grade nun told us, kids, often, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Being thirteen years old, we thought that meant keeping underwear in one drawer and socks in another. Not bad advice.
Being older it takes on new meaning but continuing to talk about socks. My male cat decided to play hide and seek with my socks. He must have seen me take one off and the movement was all he needed to see. Never taken in pairs which I would prefer. Just one here and one there. Supposedly hidden, but I found most of his hiding places. If it didn’t entertain him so much, I’d be frustrated. If it didn’t help us, then it’d be futile.
Missteps. Mistakes. Wrongdoings. Wrong words said out loud. Once done, none can be undone. It needs a safe place to reside to continue and hopefully improve our lives. So keeping the “sock,” so to speak, lingering and haunting us, doesn’t help anyone, especially ourselves. The damage or discord happened. We learn and become better persons from those two “M’s” and two “W’s”.
Here’s the cat part. We need to put those errors in judgment somewhere. Closet? Too obvious. Under the bed? More sleepless nights. In the trash? Too literal. Our favorite psalm provides the answer both for our mental and spiritual wellbeing. We eat with them. “You set a table before me in the sight of my foes,” says number 23. By knowing they are staring right at us while eating meatloaf, a baked potato with cream corn (my favorite meal, by the way), we take away their power to preoccupy or hurt us. What better place to learn more about ourselves and our behavior than having it all in front of us.
We all know we are sinful people, hence the “M’s” and “W’s”. We also forget that we are grace-filled people relying on our faith to see us work on our ever-growing lives through these “socks”. Sister was right about keeping our clothes clean and accessible. As adults, Psalm 23 does the same thing for Christian grownups.
P.S. Please don’t say anything if you see me with two unmatching socks. Owen, the cat, knows where the missing match is hidden.
Check out Fr. Joe’s books on Amazon.com “Letters from My Cats” is letters written by his cats to him about living with him.