I just got back from visiting my grandmother in central Illinois. She is 85. She is outwardly frail, but she refuses to make concession to the infirmities of age. She has had a life of hard work and of much sorrow, but she, more than anyone I know, knows the Lord, and He gives her much love and strength.
About two years ago kitten of my mother’s that grandma had taken in after my mother died had to be put down. Grandma had not really wanted the cat and she never even gave her a name – she was only Kitty. But she grew to love that black cat, and kept her well. But after Kitty was gone, grandma felt she was too old to take on another pet, even though she would have loved to. But the Giver of Good Gifts knew better. Along came a stray, only 8 months or so old, right up to my grandma’s house, and the stray would not be ignored! My grandmother has taken in this cat, named her Kitty 2, and fallen head over heels for this near-carbon copy of her old black cat.
This last week, I saw my grandma just in love with that cat. And I never saw a cat love a person so. They rock together in the rocking chair in the morning and in the evening. Kitty 2 hides her cold nose in my grandma’s hand while grandma sings to her.
I was telling a co-worker today about this lovely feline-grandmother relationship, and what she said struck me: she said the kitties who have been strays are the ones who love the most, because they know the cold and the wild, and they are truly grateful for the kindness they are being shown.
Now I know I’ve read that God allows us to suffer so that we can love Him more. And I’ve read this parable several times:
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.[Luke 7:40-43 NIV]
But it never really hit me like it did today. Oh that I should truly love and purr in gratitude to my Savior like this little kitten. Meow!