About a year and a half ago we spotted what seemed akin to a walking cat carcass on our property. This poor animal was so skinny you could see all the bones on his back. He had huge dull eyes, a limp and a broken tail. I believe our visitor was days from death and had arrived here to search the garbage in a last ditch effort to find food.
We started putting out cat food, which quickly disappeared. We would see the cat here and there, but he would run in terror any time he saw a human. I wondered how he even managed to muster the energy to run away. Days and weeks passed and the cat food continued to disappear, although we rarely saw the cat we knew he had been here.
One day I saw a black cat walking through our yard, I couldn't believe it was the same animal. He was filled out and his eyes were shiny and his coat was glossy. He was obviously fully restored physically, but still fearful. When we would see him we would talk gently to him, but he was so afraid he would keep a huge distance between us. But eventually he stopped running away in stark terror and is now just kept a cautious distance.
Kitty has his own insulated house outside and a heated water dish for winter. He is waiting outside on the porch railing for me almost every morning. It makes me happy to see him there and I worry about him on the days he is not. One day this last week I saw him on the far edge of our property just coming in for the morning. I called, "Kitty, kitty, kitty!", and he came running up to the house for his breakfast. You would have though I won the lottery I was so excited I thought I would burst.
We have come a long way in the last year and half. But he still doesn't trust us enough to let us touch him. Kitty likes about a 3 foot bubble and anything closer than that he is moving away. But he will snuggle himself down in the grass and close his eyes when I talk to him. You know what else? He still eats out of the garbage and only sleeps in his house when it is really cold. He has everything he needs here, yet refuses to take full advantage of all that is offered to him.
Aren't we like that? Jesus offers us everything we could ever want yet we stay just outside of his reach and continue to eat out of the garbage rather than enjoy the feast he has prepared. He stands and calls to us every day. We can run into his arms or bolt the other direction. How his heart must beat out of his chest with joy when we choose to run to him.
Which way did you run this morning?
In His Peace -
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 5-6)