Guest Post: His Voice

I'm still enjoying my vacation. Here's another post by my Mom. She has lived in Florida for the last 3 years and she began taking care of feral cats when she moved to the island. Here is her thoughts on a lesson they've taught her, enjoy!

One of the joys of living in Florida has been the care and feeding of feral cats. Two of our Island’s many ferals— i.e. a domesticated animal that is ‘wild’--were cared for by the late owners of our home. As part of renting, I agreed to feed them.

Each cat presented with a unique personality: “Mama” kitty and her grown kitten “Tabby” were opposites. Mama was so timid that she came to eat only when no one was around. Tabby had been born on the property and was handled early by humans. She is so comfortable with people that she meows through the screen to let me know that she needs something.

While my neighbors traveled, I also fed their ferals. Before long, when I walked our dog, I noticed that I was being followed by cats! As I walked, I would softly call that cat’s name. I was overjoyed when I saw Mama Kitty following me, and--sweeter still--the times that she meowed back. My cats know me –they hear my voice and they follow me. Sound familiar? Jesus said,

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them,
and they follow me.
John 10:27

Every morning I open the window to the porch door and begin to softly speak the cats’ names. I continue to speak their names as I feed them. My voice relaxes them. I am sad when friends come around and my cats run away. Scripture explains that such

“will never follow a stranger; in fact,
they will run away from him because
they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
John 10:5

In the three years that have now passed, I marvel that, not only does Mama Kitty ‘know me’, but she finally trusts me to stroke her back.

In the same way that Jesus used ‘picture-book illustrations’ of himself as the Good Shepherd (and us, as sheep,) He has given me “living parables” in these small cats. My limited ‘farming” experience means I don’t know about sheep, but I do understand my relationship with these cats. And, whenever I interact with them, I better understand the Good Shepherd. My Sheep Hear My Voice.

Though technically these wild cats are not mine, I am devoted to their well-being. So much so, that when I hear their cries, I rush to their aid. Whether it be the neighborhood tomcat bullying in the wee hours, or the raccoon mafia marauding at midnight, I ‘do battle’ on behalf of these little ones. At any hour, my ears are attentive to their cry. I hear the Lord say

“the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer.”
I Peter 3:12

Verses flood my mind as I go about my daily regimen with my cats. I am constantly instructed me about the Lord’s “watch-care” over me. Poignantly, I am reminded of my inferior care, compared to the Lord’s. Scripture says,

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts …
how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I appreciate Jesus words,

“My sheep hear my voice … I give them eternal life,
and they will never perish.
No one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Unlike the Lord, I can’t guarantee that these cats will not die in my care nor can I even prevent something from snatching them ‘out of my hand’. Yet these cats are loved indeed. The lesson comes again: if I (who am evil) am doing all that is within my power to provide for these helpless little ones, how much greater is a perfect God’s provision? And what’s more, it is granted

“according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus!”
Phil 4:19
Do we, who are so weak and prone to failure, think more highly of our own reliability than that of the Master caregiver? Consider that God’s commitment BEGAN with the highest and best gift:

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave
him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?”
Rom. 8: 32.

So, "do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:32

My cats are precious to me. I imagine that they love me because I love them. Likewise

“we love Christ, because he first loved us.” I John 4:19.

Like a feral cat with no particular value, God poured out his love (and blood) for me,

“demonstrating His great love in this:
that while we were yet sinners, Christ died.”
Rom. 5:8.

I join the Psalmist in his exclamation of praise:

“what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?” Ps. 8:4

Yes, my cats hear my voice, and they follow me. They in turn, teach me to follow the Good Shepherd.

1 comment:

  1. I am so blessed to have read this posting this morning.. You outdid yourself , sweet lady, as you posted such a beautiful way of bringing God's word into an object lesson for me using cats.. I would like to know if sometime, I could use this " devotional" as a " guest blog " on my own Threads of Hope blogsite? I really have felt such a tug of the heart, as I read your thoughts. Please, when Jaime gets back, let me know how to use this, or copy or however blogger lets me transfer your beautiful post.. Again, THANK YOU so very much... there are so many thing in it, that my heart, and mind are reeling at the moment!


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