Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Broken Cup and a Confused Neighbor

I was cutting up some meat to marinate for our dinner. Balrog the Kitten couldn't keep her nose out of it and kept jumping onto the counter. I asked my daughter,

"Could you take that cat out of here!?!"

So she grabbed the kitten and carried her out of the kitchen.


Balrog was so demented by raw meat frenzy that she squirmed out of my daughter's arms, made a frantic leap for freedom------and landed on the coffee table, knocking this mug to the floor where it shattered.

I was naturally upset. Upset with the cat. Upset with my daughter. Upset with myself for leaving the mug on the table.

The kids were upset, too, having appreciated the peculiar humor of that mug ever since it arrived at our house.

"Oh no! Not the one that says, 'Does this pulpit make my butt look big?'" they lamented.

"That says what?" asked the neighbor boy who had come over to play with my son.

"Does this pulpit make my butt look big?" my kids repeated.

Cue Crickets

"I don't get it", says neighbor boy shaking his head.

I guess the priest at the Catholic church where he and his family go does not have such a mug, huh?


Littlemankitty said...

You should have let the kitty have the meat. It's our right, you know.

more cows than people said...

hee. hee.

but sorry about the mug. guess you'll have to throw some more change at the rev gals- or will super glue help?

JWD said...

Oh no! So sad!

DogBlogger said...


(I do hope you order another mug... if I had a pulpit, I'd have one!)

Sue said...

Sorry about the mug. You can support a good cause by buying another one though :)

I'm with LMK - give the kitteh the meat.

SpookyRach said...

hee hee!

von Gunten said...

Your story reminded me too much of one of my favorite stories my friend, Pr Jeff Louden tells. He put this story of his in a Baptismal Reader he compiled. Without a title, I call his story, "The Broken Cup":

Gil Horn stayed at my house--and as we were washing dishes my hold on an old mug slipped. It was one given to me by a friend in college in 1975. [Three tringles] were the symbols on it. She was part of that sorority. I still remember the refrain, "Delta, Delta, Delta. Can I help ya, help ya, help ya?" And I remember her. Tall, with soft blond hair, cut short mind you. We met in a photography class. I was the student instructor. She was the student. Needless to say, nothing ever developed! My fault, too.

While washing the mug it slipped out of my hand, falling in a type of slow motion even as I watched and knew what would happen. Crash! Seven or eight pieces. A shattered glass. That mug had been with me fifteen years. It carried more freight for me than I thought. I remembered CSU, Leslie (her name came back to me). I remembered the trip to Steamboat with her sorority, the smell of the Technical Journalism photolab where we met. I remembered the D-76, hypoclear, fixer. I remembered the dumb but wonderful things which college students do.

I told Gil about this and then, outloud, asked him and myself, "I wonder what she's doing now?" I didn't expect an answer. It was a rhetorical question cast to the wind. But across the living room came the reply, "She's probably picking up the pieces just like you."

Silence. I wonder if life is like that mug. Our task is to pick up the pieces and move on. Maybe faith has much to do with brokenness. God seems to use it, maybe even prefer it. Perhaps that's what the Psalmist means when he writes, "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit."

I bent down to pick up the pieces, swept the floor, and life went on.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Balrog should buy you another mug. Filled with Omaha Steak coupons.