21. Jan, 2012

Waiting on a Lost Kitty…..

Waiting on a Lost Kitty…..

For those of you who know me well, you would know that I am an avid animal lover!  Having been raised with cats all of my life, I have grown to appreciate the value of having a furry critter in my  life. The comfort and warmth in the dark nights, the unconditional love and acceptance, the constant companion thru laughter and tears.  In fact, my ex-boyfriend can attest to the lengths I would go to, in rescuing a kitten that I found, from certain death.  Having had my fair share of furry bundles of joy through the years, I decided a long time ago that I would ever only have inside cats.  Lots of practical reasons why, but one emotional reason was that I had one too many heart breaks as a youngster of beloved kittens getting run over.

Well, this morning I have had time to reflect once again on not only the love of animals that I have deep within my soul, but the opportunity to see a new spiritual revelation.  Our kitty Ipo decided last night to find an escape route out of the house again.  Now you have to understand this kitten.  She is full of life and fun for her “People”, always making us crack up at one of her antics, (especially our very own bug catcher!) but she is always very warm and loving to anyone who comes thru our door.  “Stranger” is not in her vocabulary. She believes that everyone is her immediate new “best friend” and loves to spend time talking to, and sitting with them.

However, one thing Ipo has struggled with, that her sister doesn’t seem too concerned about is that by being asked to stay in the safety of her home it really is for her protection, not our desire to kill her fun. She can be often found watching doors and windows to see if someone, ANYone might have given her a escape route.  Over the course of the 1 ½ she has lived with us, she has made her way outside on several occasions.  One time, late last year, she did it at night, and ended up being out all night.  What we found in the morning was a really scared and pretty beat up cowering little quivering ball of fur.  I can only imagine her glee as she *finally* made it to what she perceived as “FREEDOM”, and was quite excited to head off on an adventure.  I am sure, she ran up to someone that looked an awful lot like her, and immediately believed she had found another “new best friend”.  But, I am afraid what she found in the  Big World is that just because something or someone LOOKS like you, does not mean that they are friendly or receptive to your desire to be buddies.  There are a lot of bullies and meanies out there, and they don’t fight fair.  In fact, I remember talking to my family about seeing this really great blog forming in my head about the lessons that Ipo would have learned that night.  The spiritual truths of how the “World” can look so warm and inviting and full of adventures to be had.   God our Protector has asked us to willingly and submissively stay within the safety of His “house”.  That He has set up boundaries for our protection and safety, not to kill our fun.  And yet, how often do we look for that escape route?  That we think that it would be MUCH more fun out “there” and we flee the warm and safety of His presence to go have our fun.  And, not surprisingly, we end up getting really wounded.  The scar on Ipo’s nose is a living testimony of her belief that her way was better than our way.  The scars in my life, are simply the same thing.  The living testimony that *I* have chosen to try and go my own way also, instead of listening to Adonai, my Loving Master and believing that He has my best at heart.

Over the next few months, she seemed to settle back into realizing that INside was safer than outside, and never once looked twice at a open door.  She would quiver at loud sounds and wasn’t as quick to love on new people that came through our door.  But, what they say is true.  Time really DOES heal all wounds.  It seems to dull the memory of pains of the past. And the mind makes foggy the reality of what really happens when we try and escape the safety of our protective boundaries.  Ipo, once again last night, decided that she would rather try again to live her life in the wonder of the big world.  She left sometime in the evening, and as the writing of this pondering, she still hasn’t come back.  Bubbie and I both have been out looking all through the neighborhood for her, calling her out again and again.  Seeing if we could find her and entice her to come back to us.  Wondering if she was wounded or worse yet, dead.  But, as I walked and called…. Called and walked this morning I was struck with a new side to this story.  I had a real intimate moment with the Prodigal son’s dad.  (yes, I *do* know this was just a story that Jesus used to try and share spiritual truths with not only a crowd of people, but also the Pharisees and Religious Rulers that would have been in the crowd that day. If you will permit me, I would like to share my musings………)

I can imagine what the father must have felt like wandering around looking for his son.  Wondering what kinds of things that his son might be involved in.  All the possible dangers that he must be being exposed to. Praying for him, longing to see him again, remembering all the good times of the past they had together.  The late night chats, the snuggles and cuddles of his younger years. I wonder if he would wander around his town, looking for his son, under cars and in yards, particularly areas where there is tall grasses that could cover a hurt or broken body. I wonder if he even tried to peek into people’s windows to see if he could get a glimpse of his son, maybe having fallen prey to a stranger with not good motives. If he did, I know now what that feels like now.    As I walked around our neighborhood this morning, I felt a kinship with this father.  I saw thru his eyes, the longing he must have felt, and the sense of loss at having no idea what has happened to his beloved son.  And then, as God usually does, allowed my thoughts to drift to Him.  As I walked and called for my sweet Ipo, and longing for her to answer back to me, He allowed me a small glimpse of what it must be like for Him when I do this very thing that Ipo has done. Interestingly enough, I was struck with this thought earlier in the week, and put it on my Facebook status…

“Jesus never imposed His will, virtues, or ethics on anyone. He presented Himself, along with the offer of abundant life and freedom made possible by abiding in the truth He offers. We have an invitation from Almighty God, our heavenly Father, to live in His shadow and His shelter while following the Lord, who is our Shepherd. Refusing this invitation is like shouting, “Bring on the consequences!”

Truth be told, I am struggling to think of what the consequences of Ipo’s chose will be.  I am pushing down, even now, the reality that we might not see our sweet kitty again.  Ipo was named by my mother-in-love when we first brought her home.  Her name means “Sweatheart”, and she has been true to her name the last year and a half.  But, just like Jesus, we can’t impose our will on her.  Whilst El Roi  is all knowing, and ever present, *I* am not.  I can’t see where she is.  I don’t know her fate. I can’t force her to come home.   I am left to understand the reality of her decision will have consequences on not only me, but my family.  We have offered her a life full of health, safety, happiness, adventure (bugs are ALWAYS being shown to her, so that she can have her fun!) and comfort, but it ultimately has to be her decision to choose it.  Her sister Mo has been wandering around, calling for her, and seeking us to give her even greater comfort right now in our loss. (THAT, in of its self has a WHOLE NEW BLOG begging to be written! 😉 But, right now is not the time.)  I am left to grapple with the idea that our “tomorrow” might be without the presence of this amazingly sweet ball of fur, and all we will be left with is our photos and memories.  Interestingly enough, even THAT thought isn’t left without Jesus’ whispers of Truths also.  “He presented Himself, along with the offer of abundant life…. Refusing this invitation is like shouting, “Bring on the consequences!”

My life has had to bear the scars of my “consequences”. I have people who have been, and still are journeying with me, that can give testimony to that fact. In my early years I chose to refuse His invitation and decided that I could do a better job at living my life.  Whilst I know without a shadow of doubt that my sins have been forgiven, I still bear the responsibility of the consequences of those sins.  And yet, even in those consequences, God has been ever gracious, ever loving and ever present.  I know that I am welcome exceedingly abundantly MORE than I can imagine, at His table.  He calls me Princess.  He places a Crown of Righteousness on my head.  I am worthy to be His child.  And my consequences are really only woven into a robe of beauty as He fulfills His promise that He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Should Ipo decide to return home, she will be shown no less consideration.  She will be warmly welcomed.  She will be smothered in love and kisses.  I am sure that Bubbie will spend a lot of time walking around, holding her and whispering quiet words of love and comfort into her ears.  I might even open a can of tuna and allow her the honor of licking it clean! =)  She will be cuddled throughout the evening and I bet we might fight over which bed she will get to sleep on. (Well, not Sis, she likes a kitty-free sleeping arrangement!)  My mind is FULL of all the things we can do for her!  Once again, my thoughts drift to the Prodigal son’s father.  I bet he too, mentally planned all kinds of celebration parties for his son if he was ever allowed to see him again.  Playing it over and over in his mind for all the years his son was gone. So much so, that when the day finally came and he saw his son staggering down the road towards him, that he picked up his cloak and RAN to him!!  He grabbed up his son in a warm embrace and held him tightly. He carried him home, and dusted him off and put into motion all the things he had been planning for so long.  The joy!!! The excitement!!! The fullness!!!  His son was *finally* home.

Ipo, still has a decision to make, if she can……………………………