The Cat Who Came To Bible Study
People say that cats are very intuitive creatures. If you don't own one, you'll have to take my word for this feline phenomenon. As the owner of several cats in my days (just enough that The Boy has dubbed me a 'Cat Farmer'), I have seen our kitties do some pretty intelligent things. Granted, our 3 month old kitten is NOT a shining example of brain power, but with time she'll grow into a wise, old girl just like her housemates.
And I can't help but smile when I get a glimpse of what might actually be going on in their furry little brains...just like I did last night.
My cat, aptly named Big Dan for his hulking 15 pound cat frame, was a shelter cat. He found me when we were choosing a kitten for Naomi last Christmas. Not planning on two kittens--let alone an adult cat--I was surprised to find myself welcoming him home a few days after Christmas. But, I'm sure he wasn't. He's a survivor, my cat. He caught one glimpse of this sucker-for-orange-tomcats and decided he'd found his ticket out. Once home, however, it was a different story. He spent the first few weeks hiding in my sweaters or occasionally under my bed. Nothing could make him come out. Not even me. But slowly as he gained my trust, during the quiet of the evenings when the noise died down, he'd cautiously make his way down the steps to the family room. He'd suspiciously scan and sniff the room and once the all clear sounded, he'd settle in next to me for the night.
But once the noise level of the day started, he'd scurry back upstairs, which is why I was so shocked to see him saunter in to bible study at my house the first time. With my mouth hanging open, I watched as he hopped up in the lap of one of the women and settled in for the hour. A bit embarrassed and apologizing all over myself, I'd try to shoo him away but his resolve was stronger. The next month, the same thing happened. Then again. And again. It became a bit of a joke that as soon as my bible study group sat down, inspite of his social anxiety, my plus-sized cat would join us. Besides being horrified at his behavior, I thought little of it. Until last night.
Last night, our core group welcomed in a family member (of the non-furry kind) of mine. The women in this group encouraged, supported, laughed and cried together, but more importantly they reached out to my struggling relative and touched her with the hands of God. Their voices were filled with wisdom from the Holy Spirit as they counseled her. And she left wanting more, wanting to go deeper in building the relationship she found amongst these beautiful, faith-filled women I am blessed over and over again to call friends.
Just before our final prayer, I turned to find Big Dan, curled up next to one of the women, smiling a Chesire-grin as his head rested on her lap. Suddenly, I knew what drew my frightened, anxious, once-been-lost-but-now-was-found feline here. The unconditional love of God lived out loud by these women brought him to them. And it was so powerful, this experience, that no matter how hard I tried to stop him, he kept coming back for more.
May God continue to use this group of women in a mighty way; drawing the lonely, the scared, the confused and all whom they encounter to a deeper, closer, never-want-to leave-Him kind of faith. Amen.