I Peter 3:15 Msg
(NVI – también)
Msg: Through thick and thin, 15 keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, 16 and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick.
NVI: 15 Más bien, honren en su corazón a Cristo como Señor. Estén siempre preparados para responder a todo el que les pida razón de la esperanza que hay en ustedes. 16 Pero háganlo con gentileza y respeto, manteniendo la conciencia limpia, para que los que hablan mal de la buena conducta de ustedes en Cristo, se avergüencen de sus calumnias.
All is tranquil and calm, expectant, but content. “Los politicos” are taking their ease at stations around the buttercream courtyard. A few are huddled together, curled in the shade of the king tree on cement pavers dislodged by roots harnessing the power of earthquakes. Others lazily clamber over the picnic table checking the remains of the food bowls while still others tumble together cuffing and nipping each other in play and practice.
“Ven politicos!” a voice rings out, strong and sure, gentle, but in charge. As with one mind, a river of cats arcs to follow, all other actions instantaneously left behind. The artist chuckles as he strides across the courtyard, “I call them politicos because they’re like a congress with marginally greater sense.” He hasn’t brought food at this moment, but the stream converges nonetheless until he waves them back to their positions.
A cavernous room of stone, cool even in the early afternoon heat whose unframed openings set high in the walls permit the playful caribbean breezes to criss-cross through – teasing the occupants gently and preventing the air from growing stale, appears much better suited to its role as overseer of creation instead of guardian of punishment. Inside, the living detritus of sculpture, canvas, forms, and tools rests with haphazard intentionality against nearly every junction of floor and wall. Two oblong work tables serve as twin foci for the room. One is tucked back into shadow at the moment. On the other, a creamsicle striped junior cat stands and arches her back as the artist approaches to give her a few pats while chatting with his apprentice. Even though the artist’s attention is clearly divided between the kitten and the other occupants of the space, the kitten is 100% focused, trying to twine ever closer to the gentle hands of rescue and preservation.
A small book and wooden rule clatter to the floor, interrupting the artist’s words. “Princesa,” directed at the cat, “I understand it was a mistake, but no más.” He admonishes as he retrieves the casualties of teenage feline adoration and then follows up the scold with a gentle pat or two knowing full well it won’t be the last moment requiring absolution.
The devotion of “los politicos” strikes me. Is that what it means to have an attentive heart? To remain occupied, but always alert; waiting, expecting, relying on the call of the master, the caretaker, the adored one? Is that what it means to honor? To love?