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by Zelda Kennedy

In an Advent devotional one of my favorite poets, Joyce Rupp, felt that Advent was a time to be open to our own light and how we allow that light to transform the world. The devotional suggestion for December 8 requests that we “Let the Star of Acceptance nudge us to receive the unwanted ones.”

Following the death of my cocker spaniel, Pebbles, I made a conscious decision to wait a long time or maybe never, before getting another pet. My life was fine. No pets, no concerns, no worries. Therefore, when my assistant asked if I would consider adopting a cat, my response was, “No way!” Why would I do that? No pets, no concerns, no worries! Right? Well, not quite.

Several years ago, I met two amazing people who worked as youth ministers at All Saints. They fell in love, got married, “adopted” a cat and named him Parker. Not long after, they had a beautiful baby girl. However, my friend was diagnosed with cancer immediately following the birth of her daughter. She was valiant in her fight to live — yet unsuccessful. Her husband decided to return to the Midwest with their baby girl. Therefore, he needed a new home for Parker, and I received an impassioned email asking if I would consider taking him. I answered with one word, “Yes”. What was I thinking??????

Pebbles was mostly black with white markings. I was surprised to find that Parker is also mostly black with white markings. My friend warned me Parker was skittish. However, the first time we met he came to me and slept in my lap. I was hooked.

Parker was never “unwanted” just in need of a new home. Parker has found a home, and I have found a new companion. May your Advent allow you to exercise acceptance in every possible way.