Stray Cats and God

A short part of a much larger piece I wrote for a professor of ministry on my perception of God.

We have been slowly drawn into feeding a few stray kittens (now grown cats) in the neighborhood since our arrival here in May.I have been interested to chronicle the slow signs of increase in their trust,and their slow conformation to our "will" (feeding times, etc). I have been interested to to note my own acquiescence to their desires (whole milk,not cream, please, and you can pick me up when I want you to, not when you please.) We have been interested to note that the first cat hasnow brought his mate to dinner within the last few weeks, and we have seen how much more quickly she went through the steps of trust, to this point. Within the last two nights, the male (Hobbes) has been putting feet on our door, and asking, with a previously unheard voice, for his dinner. It seems that his association with other cats and with us has made him realize the reason for his voice.He had stopped running when we opened to door to feed him. On this basis, this morning,I decided to see about petting him. Bad move. Not only do I have a cat which runs at the sound of me, but I have two hands full of scratches, born not of hatred, but of long-inbred fear.

God would not make such a grave error, but His eye is on the sparrow, and I think the parable transfers, in more ways than I have space to delineate. God knows too, just how much order, just how much tenderness we can take. He knows that we are strays too, unused to contact, to seeing each other whole. We are used to surviving on our own, not to depending on others, no matter how much more sense that would make no matter how much more infinite the resources. He knows also that we have preferences. He'll not feed us whole milk or cream, if our starving stomachs will only take water, or skim milk. In short, He understands an ego long bent on self-effacement and mere survival. While He longs to bring us into His house, to care for us fully, and gets angry when we spit, and hiss, and scratch Him, He will continue His watching and working, until we are in the house, unless we run and never return.

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