Oh, how I wish we had a film crew to capture the ridiculously funny scene from yesterday! One of my BFFs (best friends forever) came up for the afternoon to talk and walk our trails with me.
Last I saw her was two weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, when she and her family came for dinner with a barn warming gift—a cat. Caramel latte, named for her long, fluffy white and caramel coat looking like a Starbucks swirled drink of the same name, looked out from her pet taxi terrified.
NOOOOO! You’re NOT going to put me in this barn—with THREE other CATS?????!!!!!!!! Just because I have a behavioral problem of purposely peeing all over the house, even on Dad’s clean laundry? REALLY? Did it HAVE to come to THIS? Outdoor living? Not one, not two, but THREE barnmates?
Yes, dear one, it had come to this. A choice had to be made—ashes or hay. Lucky for you, it’s hay.
And so, on Easter Sunday, the day of new beginnings, Caramel Latte was introduced to her new pad—and barnmates. The initial introduction went quite well. She exited her taxi like a diva with paws waving and mouth hissing away the low-lives. They backed off and watched from a distance as she surveyed her new digs.
Closing the new friends in for the night, we humans hoped and prayed for the best.
No Caramel Latte. Our fourteen year old country music lover started singing Gone Like a Freight Train and I couldn’t help but laugh. She was gone alright. From protection of barn with access to great food 24/7 and plenty of pleasant company—she ditched the place somehow.
Fast forward two weeks, which was yesterday . . .
My friend and I are walking and talking and reminiscing about Caramel Latte. We enter the pine forested ravine to the north of the barn and my friend says . . .
She would be in here. Every time she tried to go outside, she headed straight for the trees.
So we stroll, calling . . .
Heeeeerrrrreeee kitty kitty kitty!
I don’t think so. She has no front claws.
Well, Ellie has no front claws and she climbs trees.
No kidding—the MOMENT I finished the sentence, I turn my head to the left and what do my eyes see?????
OH MY GOSH! IT’S CARAMEL LATTE!
Up in a leaning tree she sits! Down the ravine bank we go, up the other side, over to the tree—we try to coax her down. She doesn’t budge.
What are two fifty-something women to do?
I shinny the tree trunk with a two-handed bum-hoist from my friend and grab the cat by the scruff. Pretty impressive! This will make for a really funny story when my friend and I are wheel-chair bound as roommates in the “home” someday!
We check her over and she looks fine except that the once obese cat used her plentiful storage to keep her alive for two weeks of self-serve feeding. Back to the barn we go.
She plants her face in the food bowl (the cat, that is) and makes friends real fast this time. Hours later, I find her sitting nicely on the hay bales with all THREE barnmates, looking content.
Caramel Latte . . .
Ellie . . .
Phil . . .
Piglet . . .
So what does this story teach us? Sometimes we don’t realize our options set right before us—like true life and slow death. Sometimes we ditch the life we’re given and think we’ll do just fine, even better, outside God’s protection and provision. Sometimes we just take off to fend for ourselves. Sooner or later, we find ourselves starved, scared, and up a tree without knowing how to get down. Sometimes, we come to the end of ourselves and our abilities to cope. And then, we’re ready for rescue. Then, we’re ready to accept what was offered in the first place and our perspective is radically changed. And if we’re still living out there fending for ourselves, thinking we’re doing such a great job? Just wait. Some people take longer to come to their senses. Some people need to be left out longer to come to the end of themselves.
God is gracious. He gives us as long as He knows we need to realize we’re not God—that we’re not so self-sufficient. And He’s always looking and listening. He’s always searching for signs of us, ready and wanting for saving. And then He comes to us and offers His hand. Then, and only then, do we realize what we could have had all along. But this time, we’re grateful. This time, we’re humble. This time, we’re delighted to make our new place—home. And we come to understand, this is what we’ve always wanted—all along.
God knows best.
He’s the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb. He knows us best.