“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7).
“The birth of that kitten brought special blessings to me yesterday. This is a belief of the Thai people for many centuries,” Unn explained to me excitedly on our early morning walk.
Our village manager Unn has become a special friend, and as Bruce and I walk together each morning in the coolest part of the day, we often meet her. Since she lives alone most of the time, she loves to chat. She is teaching us interesting snippets of Thai-Buddhist folklore.
This morning Unn was excited. “You see?” she said. “If you show kindness and take in a stray cat, and if she gives birth inside your home, Buddhists believe that you are granted an extra-special blessing.”
This had been the case that day for her son and daughter-in-law who were living in one of her rental properties. They day before they planned to move to Bangkok, a stray cat had shown up on their property. Being a cat lover and a new medical-school graduate, the man was drawn to this mama cat that he realized was about to give birth. He took the cat into his home and made a comfortable bed for her. Sure enough, the next morning there was a new kitten lying beside her.
Unn explained excitedly that this blessing had brought her good fortune. Since her son and daughter-in-law were leaving, she had put up a “For Rent” sign on the property, and in only a few hours she had renters ready to move in that same day. We understood her excitement about renting the house because there are many unoccupied homes in this city. Especially during this COVID time it had seemed very unlikely that she would find a new renter.
As I reflected on this conversation I thought about the human desire to receive blessings. I have found that Thai-Buddhist people readily welcome an offer to pray a blessing, whether they understand my English-language prayer or not. I believe that our God longs to pour out blessings, and as I find occasion to offer someone a prayer of blessing, God hears and blesses according to His lovingkindness.
It is my continued prayer that hearts will be open not only to accept the blessings that they believe come from Buddha, but that they will realize that the Creator God is the source of all blessings.