Part of my testimony is that I know God has a sense of humor. There is an experience that I often think about to illustrate my point.
When I was 18 I lived in Provo for the summer with a few roommates. Our singles ward was doing baptisms for the dead at the Provo temple one evening. I was very excited to be participating in the baptisms but I was running late after work in Salt Lake. Also, I needed to pick up my friend Sara and give her a ride.
At this point in the story, I should tell you that I am an animal lover. Animals love me and I love
them back. I am particularly anguished by the thought of animals suffering or dying. I have been known to cry real tears when passing roadkill. real tears.
I am also known to be a speeder. Yes, this is why I married my husband. It was all an attempt to get out of speeding tickets. by the way, it worked. I get pulled over for speeding all of the time and now that I'm in the law enforcement family, the cop usually walks away from my car having left directions to his house for a barbeque instead of a citation. Cameras are a whole other story, but suffice it to say that I am a lead foot and always have been.
So back to the story: I picked up Sara and headed for the temple. There I was speeding down Canyon Road, stressing out about being late for the temple and a cat darted out in front of my truck. I didn't even have time to tap the brakes. Thud thud. The cat went squarely under my front tire and then my back tire. I instinctively looked out my rear view mirror. I literally saw chunks of feline fur flying all over the road behind me. The sun was down but the street lights caught the gleam of atomized kitty guts. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked Sara if I should go back and see if I could help the cat. She had had an even better view of the incident and informed me that no, I should not go back because there was definitely nothing that could be done for the cat. he was dead. I cried and cried. It was the single most traumatic thing that had happened to me in my 17 years. I couldn't drive because I was crying too hard. I didn't want to go to the temple anymore, I was too devastated.
Sara was so sweet and was trying so hard to make me feel better and knew that I would be better off if I went to the temple and did the baptisms rather than sit all night and ruminate about the carnage I had caused. I remember I kept thinking it through and then I would come to a part in the thought process where I would say "Maybe I just clipped him. Maybe he is okay." or "Maybe we should take him to an animal hospital." Each time Sara would gently say "Staci, the cat is dead." She suggested that we say a prayer. In the prayer she said "Please bless the cat, who is dead." Eventually I got calmed down and we got to laughing about the line "who is dead" because it was said exactly like they say it when they do baptisms for the dead. The laughter broke through the sadness and we went to the temple.
When I got to the baptistry that night I felt a little better but was still shaken. I prayed for comfort and for the burden of guilt to be lifted. I also prayed for the cat.
It was my turn to be baptized and they assigned me an alphabetical chunk of the list of names. The entire list was people named Cat. I swear to you that this is not an exaggeration or a tall tale. They were all Cats. Some of them were Caterina or Catherine and some of them were literally just plain Cat with no last name even.
I laughed out loud when I realized the coincidence. Sara and I couldn't look at each other when the person performing the baptism would say "I baptize you for and in behalf of Cat, who is dead."
It was more than coincidence. It was a tender mercy. It made me feel better. God knows my personality and my sense of humor and He was messing with me in good fun. I have a testimony that God is hilarious sometimes. He is perfect, afterall.
I have never since hit an animal in my car. well, probably a few lizards and there was one very suicidal pigeon with what had to be Al-Qaeda training, but never a cat or dog.
This lesson I learned about God's sense of humor comes in handy every day. Especially when I am raising children and trying so hard to do everything right. It helps to know that God is laughing along with me when things are funny and crying along with me when they are sad. I know that we can always get exactly the thing we need emotionally from Him if we ask and look for it.