“For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”–Matthew 16:17

Cat disappeared for 48 hours this week.  I feared the worst.  Coyotes, raccoons, stray dogs, and the neighbor boy who speeds up and down our gravel road in his pickup are ever present dangers for our farm cats. Cat (her official name at the vet clinic is Snarbuckle, but mostly we refer to her as Cat or Kitty)

Cat At Home

Cat At Home

 probably still has some wild feline instincts, but she also has a fondness for marshmallows and drinking running water from the bathroom faucet, so her absence for longer than one night gave us pause.

 

When she didn’t instantly appear when I called for her from the porch, I walked around to her favorite haunts and called for her there: the barn, the cool shady patch to the west of the house, the tall grass to the east.  I walked to nearby vacant farmsteads and called.  When she hadn’t reappeared by the second evening, I added her safe return to my prayer list.  (I feel a bit guilty for this.  With all the major problems in the world, I hate to bother God about a cat.  But this was Cat, so I hoped God would understand.)

Sunday morning when my husband opened the front door, Cat strolled nonchalantly from the cool, shady patch west of the house.  Completely oblivious to the worry she caused, she waited expectantly for her morning pouch of cat food and drink from the bathroom faucet.  She spent the day curled asleep in the rocker, except for the times when she patiently accepted the pats and ear scratches and conversation we’ve showered her with today.  

 I wonder why she didn’t come when I called, even when I moved near her favorite spots and called louder. I suspect she heard me, and suspect she ignored my calls until it suited her to appear.

When Simon Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God in Matthew 16, Jesus rejoices–not because Peter figured out Jesus’s identity on his own, but because God opened Peter’s eyes.

Christians sometimes like to take credit for making a decision to follow Jesus.  But it’s God who calls us–and calls and calls and searches, and moves closer to our favorite haunts–calling for us.  How many times have we left God waiting, calls unanswered, until we decide to listen?

Cat doesn’t seem to understand there’s someone who loves her and enjoys spending time with her calling her home.  There’s Someone who loves us and enjoys spending time with us calling us as well–even when God has to wait for us to pay attention to that call.

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