Beyond nine lives

For kids

Cats have a knack for getting themselves out of scrapes, for escaping just in the nick of time, and for landing on their feet. That's why they are said to have nine lives.

A huge black-and-white cat named Big Boy was no exception. Despite his size, he could move really fast. He once caught a mouse that was darting from the hall closet before Brian, his little sister Kelly, or their parents even saw the mouse.

Most of the time, though, he preferred to sun himself on the carpet by the window. He would slowly lick his long hair into place, stretch and roll, lick some more, then snooze. Kelly and Brian couldn't remember a time when he hadn't been there to snuggle up to or play with them.

Every day when the school bus stopped in front of the house, Big Boy would run to meet Brian and Kelly as they walked up the driveway.

One winter day after Kelly returned home from morning kindergarten, she and Mom got ready to run an errand. While Kelly pulled on her coat, hat, and mittens, Mom pushed the garage door button. But the door had to go down before it could go up. They always kept the garage door raised several inches so Big Boy could crawl under to escape from a mischievous dog or a sudden rain shower.

Mom didn't see Big Boy lying behind the car under the garage door. The door came down on top of him. When he yowled, she tried to raise the door, but it wouldn't budge.

Mom ran next door to get help, and as she ran, she prayed. She had gone to a Christian Science Sunday School as a child and had seen many wonderful healings through prayer alone.

Now Brian and Kelly attended Sunday School where they were learning that God is Love, as the Bible teaches, and that His power to heal is just as present today as when Christ Jesus practiced Christian healing.

Mom returned with Robert, the neighbor, who helped her raise the door. Robert stooped down to look at Big Boy, then stood up and said that Big Boy wasn't breathing.

Immediately Mom thought, "No!" She remembered that the Bible teaches that God is Life, as Jesus proved; that God made everything spiritual and good like Himself. Since God is Life itself, His creation can express only Life, not death.

As Mom stood there a moment quietly praying with these ideas, Big Boy suddenly jerked. He appeared unconscious, but he was breathing. Mom knew that she and Kelly could pray. They talked about God's ever-present love for Big Boy and about how God had made him to express qualities such as life, joy, beauty, strength, activity, gentleness, and love. These spiritual qualities could not be destroyed. They remembered that in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, Life (with a capital "L") is another name for God Himself.

They talked about God's goodness and tender care embracing His entire creation - no exceptions. Mom told Kelly about this statement in Science and Health: "All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible" (page 514). That meant Big Boy could not move himself into a dangerous spot since there is no space where God is not, nor could he be destroyed any more than God, his true life, could be destroyed.

Mom prayed with these ideas to be clear that God is all Life and that His entire creation expresses that perfect Life. Kelly was quiet, and Mom knew she was praying for her kitty, too.

Mom also knew that she had to forgive herself for shutting the door on the cat. If she didn't, it would be like saying that she had power to make a mistake that could hurt one of God's creatures or destroy something God had made, and that would be a lie. Only God has and is power, and He loves and protects what He has made. Nothing and no one can undo God's work.

A short time later, Big Boy was awake but not able to move. Mom knew she had to keep praying to see more of God's love, presence, and power. Soon, she felt only God's ever-present love.

In a short while, Mom looked up from her books to see Brian walking up the driveway ... and Big Boy running out of the garage to meet him!

Big Boy was completely and permanently healed. He didn't need nine lives - he only needed and had one - God.

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