This is what Faith looks like
She’s there on the coffee table in my living room; a little ceramic kitten. See her? She’s small, maybe 4” tall, barely noticeable next to the flower arrangement. There, on the left, her neck stretched out and nose reaching up like she’s checking the scent of the flower hanging above her. She’s nearly invisible, overwhelmed by the arrangement, but she’s there if you know to look for her.
I found her in a thrift shop a few years back. On closer examination I could see her ears were chipped (knocked over a time or two) but she had these lovely, delicate flowers decorating her little body. She was sculpted with her feet tucked in, giving her a compact, even serene, profile. This little piece is actually one half of a common, kind-of kitzchy, ceramic duet – a mother cat reaching down to check on her kitten and the kitten reaching up to touch her mother. The mother piece was not in the thrift shop; probably broken. Just the damaged little kitten, her face still uplifted to reach her mom.
She was designed to be reaching up, nearly touching something, but that something or someone was gone. A little, motherless, ceramic kitten. So serene. So patient. So … hopeful, perhaps. Forever reaching for something to complete it and restore the balance in it’s design. I understood it, if that makes sense. She was a kindred soul.
So I, maybe, rescued her. Who knows? Maybe she rescued me.
Alright, I know what you’re thinking: I’m reading entirely too much into my little ceramic kitten. And, honestly, I’ve asked myself if I’m over-sentimentalizing her. I’m prone to do that, I suppose. But consider this before you judge me too harshly:
Something about the little damaged kitten was appealing enough that the original owner could not just throw it away when the companion piece broke. Instead it changed hands, and the new owner also decided it had worth. No telling how many hands it went through before it ended up in a thrift shop already overflowing with little knick-knacks of all sorts. And still it made the cut – and was placed on a shelf, a modest price hopefully placed on it, until it caught my eye with its quiet, enduring faith.
I don’t point my little ceramic Faith out to visitors. Most don’t even notice she’s there, tucked up under the buds and greenery. And even if they do, they don’t notice her chipped ears or the little smile on her uplifted face. And that’s okay. She’s not meant to be a display piece. This joyful, hopeful, damaged little kitten is meant for someone .. like me. A little daily reminder of the power in an enduring Faith.