Miss Kitty is usually that cat that wakes me up in the middle of the night purring and nuzzling me, telling me how much she’d love me if I got up and gave her a snack.
I reached out in my half awake state and petted her down her back as usual, trying to clear my head enough to get up.
I awakened fully when fangs penetrated my thumb down to the bone.
It wasn’t Miss Kitty, it was Mommacat… and I’d mistakenly petted her where arthritis is wrecking her.
She screamed and bit me worse than I’ve ever been bitten by a cat.
It was a bad bite, a deep bite, and I got up to clean the wound while she disappeared under the bed.
I understood what had happened…I knew that it wasn’t really her fault.
The next night I was catching up on sleep that I’d lost the night before.
That’s when I woke up with a claw stuck in my scalp and another claw in my arm as the helpless cat was having a seizure that wracked her tiny body with shaking from head to toe.
Each tremor dug those claws more deeply into my flesh.
She had curled up by my head and was probably sleeping as peaceably as I was when the seizure took control and she hung on to what she could for dear life.
I pried the claws out when the chaos ended and again went and cleaned up the bloody wounds.
The little cat had mangled me pretty badly two nights in a row.
It never crossed my mind to hurt her, punish her, or banish her.
I accept her and her frailties and quirks as she is, believing that only love and patience will ever change her.
Some things can’t be changed…they must be accepted and redeemed.
My guess is that in her feline mind she feels the same way about me.
I am not this way with humans who hurt me.
It is disgustingly easy for me to want to retaliate and if retaliation isn’t possible, banishment is.
I can decide that you no longer exist as easily as I can change my mind about what to have for dinner.
I will make sure that you never hurt me again…I may “forgive” you, but I’ll do it from a long way off.
This, of course, brings me to Jesus.
Jesus is not like me.
When Judas betrayed him that night in the garden, He did not call Judas what I would have called him.
He called Judas “my friend”.
You see, Jesus treats us the way I treat cats, not the way I treat people.
He acts in sacrificial love no matter how many claw marks we leave on Him.
There is never any thought of punishment or banishment …He covered those bases for us already.
There is only grace and forgiveness and mercy the morning after the chaos.
Love and patience are His preferred change agents.
There is even grace for those of us who often act nothing like Him.
It abounds…it has to…
He gave me cats to practice giving grace.
Make your own application…