The Cat Came Back, Part 2

rex-returned

Last night, we watched a movie called The Christmas Candle . I know it’s February. Don’t judge. We enjoyed a fire in the woodstove along with some pizza. The movie’s themes about faith and prayer and God’s timing touched a nerve. We’re waiting on so many things. Rex needs to come back, I thought. My parents need to find a house of their own. Ruby needs some good neighborhood chums. And many more.

Suddenly, Ruby shouted, “Rex is back!”

His furry face appeared at the back door. I got up to open it to let him in. It’s been so cold, dropping down below freezing the last several nights. I had started to worry about him. I swung the door open. He skittered away. His face registered disbelief. “Do I live here?” he seemed to ask. He crept towards the opening. I stepped back. He sniffed the air, looking for something familiar. He circled to the left. Rex craned his neck forward, peering into the comfortable room. Then he ran into the house.

But he didn’t settle. He trotted into the main part of the house. He looked the downstairs over. He came back and ate some food, then he was off to explore again. He peeked at the woodstove with its fiery logs putting out powerful heat. He looked at each of us. He and Chloe sniffed each other as if to say, you’re back, too. He spied the blanket in my lap and seemed to recall its cozy qualities. Because after he ate and drank and groomed himself, he settled in my lap.

Rex got lost. He’s a little thinner for not having eaten for 2 nights. He had some gunk stuck to his tail. He probably slept little, nervous as he is. When he took off Thursday morning, he had no idea how strange his world had gotten. He dove into it headfirst and then didn’t know how to get back. We left the litterbox outside because I’d heard cats can smell it a long way off and find their way home. But I found little pawprints and scattered litter on the ground. Someone decided they wanted to be civilized instead of pooping in the great outdoors. I don’t think the litterbox acted like a homing beacon, at least not for him.

Rex’s return reminded me about when we get off track with the Lord. Sometimes we’re off for a few days. Sometimes we’re off doing our own thing for years. That time off the road of truth makes us leery to come back. Will God accept me? Does He still love me? How could he, after all I’ve done? The fact is He’s always waiting, His comforting embrace on the other side of the entry way. Yet He won’t barge in. He waits for us. All we have to do is open the door and cross the threshold. Then, like Rex relaxing in his staff’s owners’ presence, we remember that we belong.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” – Revelation 3:20

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