So there’s these needy cats that come and visit Jodi’s house all the time looking for food. Why? Well, one might be lead to think that the owners don’t take very good care of them. And any humane person can’t refuse these particular cats something to eat because of their current wellbeing. They can’t really meow that well. One of them has a broken leg and limps everywhere. And the other rather, “spacey” cat passed away awhile back.
The other night I was getting ready to close the garage door when one came up to me. He did his best to meow, trying to say “Please sir, can I have some more?”
Or so i thought anyways.
I poured him a rather large dosage of food real quick and honestly, I was somewhat cranky about it. It seems I can never open that garage door without those furry felines approaching me. But after I put his food down, he didn’t go to it. Instead he just walked around my legs and rubbed up against them, just looking for some form of love.
I know, cheesy right? But I noticed in that moment that some form of affection would be more desirable to this cat than food itself. It had occurred to me other times as well, but this time it really hit me. Although my point is kind of ruined by the fact that the cat finally noticed i had put food out and went straight to it.
However, I’m pretty sure there have been similar situations with these cats where they were just looking for someone to hold them and pet them, so I don’t think my point is totally ruined.
I bring this up, not so much to entertain your thoughts on cats, but rather make you think about the poor in spirit in general. These cats are a great representation of how we treat the broken, the hurting, the homeless. We get cranky when they ask for food. However, most of us would much rather give them food than actually spend time loving on them. Because love takes time, effort, and emotion. It requires us to get dirty and up close and personal.
I travel with a group to the homeless shelter here in Jackson once a month. There, the people have plenty of food, water, and a place to stay for a set amount of time. We give them a Sunday morning church service before their lunch, but that doesn’t seem to be what affects them the most. What seems to really get them is when our group divides up and prays for anyone who would like prayer and we do so individually.
We enter their filth with them. We listen to their story. We pray for their situation. We put our hands on their shoulder. We watch them cry.
I don’t bring this up to say “look what I’m doing,” because the truth is, a lot of times I have a hard time doing it. I bring it up to further the fact that people really want to be loved. Most of them don’t even remember what it feels like. So despite the time, effort, and emotion we have to put into the situation, let’s do it. After all, we’ve all been through these emotionally dark times where we are just hoping for some kind of love.
Enter the mess.