The Old Man and the Cat
David Jones from Gyffin writes, “Thank you for all your work in producing our Daily Reflections. It is so good to read other people’s perspectives on our area and on the life events that have shaped people’s lives. I like this old story and it may speak to others too.”
David Jones tells the story of ‘the old man and the cat’:
An old man, as was his habit, was walking by a river one day when he saw a cat fall into the water from a nearby bridge. The cat was being carried by the current towards him and the man could see that the cat was struggling to swim.
The man decided that he would try and save the cat. Lying down he stretched out his hand towards the cat as it floated by. But as the man grabbed hold of the cat, the cat scratched him, causing him to recoil in pain.
Undeterred, he again stretched out his hand a second time to try and save the cat as he could see the cat was drowning. But again, as he grabbed hold the cat scratched him and again the man jumped in pain.
A few moments later in a new position, he was trying for a third time when he heard a young man shout down to him from the bridge: “You have been scratched twice already and now you’re trying a third time. Haven’t you learned your lesson? Leave the cat. If he drowns it’s just nature’s way”.
The old man ignored the comments and on his third attempt – in spite of being scratched again – he managed to grasp the cat and bring it safely to dry land.
The old man wandered over to the young man on the bridge and patted him on the shoulder and looked at him with his deep reflective eyes. Eyes that had seen many things, over a long life. Smiling, he said to the young man with warmth and affection in his voice:
“My son, you mention nature’s way. Well it is in a cat’s nature to scratch and fight, but I tell you it is in my nature to love and have sympathy. Why would you want me to let the cat’s nature overcome mine?
After a long life lived, I tell you this. Treat all according to your own nature, not according to theirs, no matter the colour of their skin, no matter how much their accusations may harm and hurt you. Pay no attention to the siren voices that call out to you to leave behind your good qualities merely because they feel the other person is different and underserving of your higher actions.
As you yourself grow older. I say never forget the moments in life when you gave happiness to someone else, more especially if they are underserving.
Remember always Jesus’s action and words. He treats us according to his nature. Just think where we would be if he treated us according to our nature. It is in his nature to forgive us and save us in spite of ourselves.”
y mae Crist Iesu yn aros yn ffyddlon,
oherwydd ni all ef ei wadu ei hun.’
for he cannot deny himself.’
Ein Duw cariadlon,
derbyn ein diolch am dy fod mor wahanol i ni-
yn ffyddlon, yn gyson, yn ddigyfnewid,
bob amser yn barod i arddangos trugaredd,
yn ymestyn allan trwy’r amser mewn cariad.
Derbyn ein mawl am dy fod wedi gallu gweithio trwy ein bywydau,
er gwaethaf ein gwendidau ni.
receive our thanks that you are so different to us –
faithful, constant, unchanging,
always willing to show mercy,
forever reaching out in love.
Receive our praise that you have been able to work through our lives,
despite us as well as because of us.
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