Sometimes life can seem really hopeless. It swirls and rises over your head till you can't seem to remember why you're swimming in the first place. Then--every now and then you're thrown a little life raft (or told to learn to swim...fast). It might seem like nothing first. Might even confuse us, but soon enough we'll understand it's a little paper airplane from a God who sees us, and loves us, and then...it becomes a treasure.
I realize this post will put me in direct danger of being labeled a "cat lady"...but I think the story is strong and beautiful enough to take that risk...so I proceed, fully acknowledging the risk I face. A few weeks ago, John mentions that there are kittens at work. They've been abandoned by their mother, and they are tiny and helpless. But they are black (and John prefers black cats last on his list). Also, he mentions, "I don't want a cat right now." Fine...I haven't seen the kittens so my heart is not officially broken, and we move on. Until last weekend. It's Memorial Day weekend, and we are buzzing through our family time just fine when a friend randomly and at the last minute asks John to come meet him at work to let him in (he's forgotten his code or something). So John goes, in the rain and tries a door (a door that always works) that doesn't work. Aside from the quick observation that this is a little strange, the guys go to another door and it opens right away. Then they hear a tiny noise from under the shed.
This is the point when John remembers the litter of kittens, and how for the weekend the majority of them had been coaxed out of hiding to go to someone's house and be cared for, out of the rain and cold. All of them...but one. One stayed behind...either too afraid to come out and be taken away...or aware of a bigger command. John goes over and leans down and out runs this tiny, scared, wet little kitten who quickly climbs up his leg, into his heart, and then immediately after that into our homes before we could say, "Bob's your uncle."
After a call from John explaining, "I'm bringing her home", he walks in the door holding said baby cat and a plate of diced hot dogs which he tried to feed her (note: kittens do not eat hot dog circles). He also has tears in his eyes, and so do I. It's hard to explain what happens then, as we begin exchanging shock over the details and wondering why everything happened the way it did. Because at this point it seems perfectly clear to us that God wants this little addition in our home, and at the same time ridiculous that God would want a kitten in our home. It seems both clear that this is no accident, and weird that it would be anything less.
(This is John with the hot dog circles, picture courtesy of our 2 year-old.)
Then I started thinking about the parallels. Here was a kitten, alone, weak, unable to do anything for itself, and God set her in a family where she is wanted and rejoiced over.
"God sets the lonely in families"- Psalm 68:6
Here is one that could have been overlooked and forgotten by the world, that could have been left behind, but was--instead--saved.
"Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death."- Psalm 68:20
Here is one who was impossibly weak. With nothing to do for herself, nothing to add to her condition. She could not get food, build shelter, nothing. Just sit...and wait to be rescued.
"God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." - 1 Corinthians 1:27
"He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death."- Psalm 72:13
And slowly, the more we think of it, the more we understand these little messages wrapped up in the life of this little ball of fur. We are not unlike her. We face our struggles, many seem insurmountable. John has been struggling particularly with some health issues that have seemed overwhelming for about two years now, and I am facing the craziest month (possibly in my life). And in the midst of this hardship, comes our little message from God to remind us, we are weak, but he is strong. We are helpless, he will provide. He sees us, even when we feel forgotten and left behind, and we will receive whatever we need from Him.
Her name is Nessa (with variations of "Ness Ness", "Nessie" and "Nessa-doodle" from various family members). It means "miracle" in Hebrew. Because to us, that's exactly what all of this is.
It's a miracle that the God of the universe looks down on all creation, and takes the time to remind his children that he loves them, and they can trust him. But that's exactly the kind of God I know.