Here is another one of the children’s stories I gave for the children at our church. I told them this story on July 31st. (Or possibly July 24th; I can’t remember anymore whether I told this story first or this story first...)
Regardless, whether this story was first or second, here it is.
Does anyone know why a cat has whiskers? [various children raise their hands at this point, and then, upon further consideration, lower them again] No? Well, how about this: does anyone know how long a cat’s whiskers are? [again various children raise their hands; one girl guesses 5cm]
You’re close. Actually, the length of a a cat’s whiskers depend on how wide the cat’s head is. The whiskers are just long enough that they stick out to about the width of the cat’s head.
And the reason a cat’s whiskers are this long is this: When a cat goes to poke its head in a hole, it can tell by its whiskers whether its head will actually fit or not. When the cat goes to stick its head in the hole, if the whiskers brush up against the hole, the cat knows it’s too narrow, but if they don’t, then it knows the hole is wide enough that the cat’s head can fit in, without getting stuck.
I have another question for you: Does anyone know why we have two ears, instead of one? I mean, we only have one nose, in the middle of our face, and only one mouth... Why do we need two ears? [some more guesses; one little boy guesses that it’s so that we can hear people on both sides of us] That’s a very good guess, and you’ve got it almost exactly right! We have two ears, because that helps us to tell where sounds are coming from.
For example, suppose someone calls me from over here. [At this point, I hold up my right hand and mime someone speaking, while saying in a silly voice “Hello, Dave!”] When this happens, because the sound reaches my right ear slightly before it reaches my left ear, there is a little part of my brain that’s specifically designed to examine that information, and figure out that the sound is coming from my right. Similarly, if someone calls me from over here, [same mime, left side this time], I can tell that the sound is coming from my left, because the sound reaches my left ear first, and that little part of my brain figures it out for me. If someone right in front of me speaks, because the sound reaches both ears at about the same time, that little part of my brain figures out that the sound is coming from the middle.
In fact, I have a friend who is deaf in one ear. Her left ear works, but her right ear doesn’t. So if someone over here were to speak to her [again, mime the speaking thing, from the right], the sound reaches her right ear first, but nothing happens, because her right ear doesn’t work. And then when the sound gets to her left ear, it does work, but then that little part of her brain that processes this information gets confused, and it sounds to her like the sound is coming from her left. So what I take for granted, knowing which way the sound is coming from, she has to actually think about, and purposely not trust her instincts, when she hears a sound, because it will always sound to her like every sound is coming from her left.
So what’s my point? My point is this: God has a reason for everything He does. When He created cats, He had a specific reason for making their whiskers a certain length. When He made humans, He had a reason for giving us two ears, instead of one. And, although I don’t know what it was, He even had a reason for making my friend deaf in one ear!
We may not always know what God’s reasons are, for doing things a certain way. We may not even always like the way that He has done things, as I’m sure my friend doesn’t like being deaf in one ear. But we can always trust that He does have a reason, whether we’ll find out what it is or not.