Wednesday

Andrew the Disciple and Patches the Cat -- Why Sharing Matters


I’ve been chased by a few creatures in my lifetime, but this attack caught me completely by surprise. 

Orienting myself to my new neighborhood, I’d walked down an unfamiliar cul de sac in the early hours of the morning. The eastern sky was turning pink and birds were chattering in the trees. Rounding the loop at the bottom of the street, I headed back up the hill. 

That’s when something came charging out of the bushes at me. In the pre-dawn light, all I saw was movement – an odd sort of half gallop, half hop. Too slow to be a Chihuahua. Too fast to be a skunk. To confrontational to be a bunny. 

I stopped, prepared to stand my ground, come what may. And the creature kept coming. 

Then I heard a sound. Not barking. Not hissing. Mewing. 

And that’s how I met Patches. 


I named him Patches (not his real name) because he looks like a patchwork quilt. As if God had pieced him together with scraps from the Cat Room floor. Stripes from an alley cat. An orange ear from a tabby. White socks of varying length. A multi-colored tail that sticks straight up. 

Patches was a sight to see, but that’s not what distinguished him that morning. What surprised me was how un-cat-like he behaved. After he charged out of the bushes, he followed me down the street until I stopped to pet him. 



Not sure if he was friend or foe, I hesitated to reach out a hand. I shouldn’t have worried. As soon as I scratched him behind his ear, he melted like a Hershey bar in the sun. 

Thus began our ritual. 

Every morning I round the corner to Patches' cul de sac. Every morning he runs to meet me. I scratch his ears and stroke his fur, then walk down the cul de sac. He waits for me to make the loop and head back up the hill, where I scratch him and stroke him some more. Content, he goes back to who-knows-where, and I turn the corner toward home. My walk ends on a happy note and puts a smile on both of our faces. 

Recently, however, Patches had a surprise waiting for me. 


He scurried across the road as usual, but he wasn’t alone. A beautiful orange tabby followed closely behind. Leaning down, I scratched Patches' ear and greeted the newcomer. 

“Hello, pretty thing, what’s your name?” Patches chirped an answer, and with that introduction, Puff and I were fast friends. 

The first chapter of John shares a similar account of a friend sharing a friend with a friend. 

“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (v. 35-37). 

One of the disciples was Andrew, a godly man waiting for the Messiah. It didn’t take long for Andrew to realize Jesus was the real deal. And he knew he had to share him. Jesus was too wonderful to keep to himself. 

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (v. 41-42). 

Andrew and Patches are a lot alike. They both knew they had found something wonderful and were eager to share it with those they loved. 

We don’t hear much about Andrew after the Gospels. Simon, whom Jesus renamed Peter, on the other hand, became a shining star. After Christ’s death and resurrection, he fearlessly shared the gospel in Jerusalem, provided invaluable leadership to the fledgling church, and is credited with dictating at least two New Testament books. 

All because Andrew shared Jesus with him. In the amazing multi-level reward system of heaven one day, guess who’s going to share in Peter’s rewards? Andrew, who didn’t keep Jesus to himself. 

Most mornings these days, as I walk my neighborhood, two chirruping kitties greet me on my final lap. I scratch their ears and stroke their fur, which brings all three of us joy. As I reluctantly say goodbye and head back up the hill, I imagine Patches saying to Puff, “See, didn’t I tell you? Isn’t she wonderful?” 

It sounds a lot like what we might say about Jesus, don’t you think? Maybe we should take a page out of Andrew and Peter’s (and Patches and Puff’s) book and share him with someone today. 

Who knows what might happen?








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