[Guest post by Jo Ann Erwin: Welcome back, Jo Ann! I read this submission soon after I had my baby and I was still so full of hormones. I knew a story about a stray kitten was bound to bring me to tears, but when I read this powerful metaphor of turning away from God…well, I think I cried a lot more!]
I am leaving the restaurant after a fine meal, my belly is full. As I walk to my car, I hear a distress call. It’s a kitten at the dumpsters. He is frantic. It has been raining and he is soaked to the bone. I call to him and he runs toward me and gets half way and then he stops. He turned around and went back. Back to the dumpster. Ok, little fella, I will come to you.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
The dumpster stinks. There are flies and ants. There is stench. He calls from behind the dumpster. I call back. I coax. I am tenderly calling. He answers and when I stop calling, he calls out, as if to ask if I am still there…did I give up ?
I left and went to the store and got some stinky canned cat food, thinking: He’s got to be hungry, he is surely starving. I set it out, offering him LIFE. He will not come. I am calling and calling, tender words “you won’t make it out here alone baby.”
He won’t come. He’s too scared.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
For an hour I called, I coaxed, I prayed and I cried. He won’t come.
I left the food there, and I walked away disappointed. I wanted to save him so badly. But he wouldn’t come. I was prepared to wrap him up, take him home, give him a bath and feed his belly. Even though he is wet, he probably has worms and parasites, possibly fleas, sore eyes and the flies have found him and he needs to see a doctor… he won’t come.
He desperately needs saving. But he won’t come.
I had so much to offer him. LIFE. A joyous life, an abundant life. I could imagine holding him and keeping him safe. He would have hit the jackpot. But he won’t come with me.
Proverbs 3:23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
How many times did Jesus call me, call you, offering abundant life, a joyous life, and you run toward him, but halfway there, those old ways called and you turn around and go back. Back to the garbage, back to the stink. Jesus was also thinking: If only I could let her see her wonderful future, the LIFE I offer, the safety I provide.
Thank you Jesus for never giving up on me. Thank you that I finally accepted the food when I was hungry. Thank you for taking me home with you and cleaning me up and giving me LIFE.
Jo Ann Erwin lives in Paris, TN and has raised two college graduates, Melanie and Matthew. She is also mom to one precious poodle-mix named Molly and one high-maintenance cat named Moma Kitty. Jo Ann volunteers for the local homeless shelter and has for the past 15 years, fully believing that we are all equal in God’s eyes and we all deserve chances through-out our lives to make things right.
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