Author’s Note: For these blog posts, I often include a picture to break up the massive walls of text that usually come from my rambling writing style. I search a keyword or phrase on Google Images and try to pick one that fits what I’m trying to write about.
Well, this time, the image gave me something to write about. Love it when that happens.
Aside from being absolutely adorable, this dog gave me an intro.
Isn’t one of the saddest things seeing an animal walking along the side of the highway without an owner, looking lost and all alone? Sometimes my thoughts race to what might have happened to get that dog or cat there. It hurts. Something about our humanity gives us an empathy for animals that could be pets. I wonder how many people have picked up strays and then became their lifelong companions.
Something like 15 years ago, a cat wandered up to our kitchen window and stared at us. I distinctly remember it was a Sunday after church. He was black and gray with some streaks of white in there. He was there again and again. We fed him and he became a part of our family for a long time. He died last year, which was sad for me. Stormy, which is what we called him, was my favorite pet we’ve ever had as a family. He was a lot like me. Chill, reserved, but very loving once he got to know you. There would be times I would go sit outside on our porch and Stormy would wander right up and let me pet him as the moon and stars hung above us.
He was a stray that we took in, one that we loved and fed and cared for until one day he was gone. I was at college when I heard. But until now, I’ve never really thought about how much his story mirrors my own.
I’m so thankful that new mercies rise with the morning sun. I’m so thankful that You’ve never given up on me. Please draw near, You know my heart it tends to stray, it tends to stray.
Christians are children of God. They are loved and cared for by Him, fed by Him, given life by Him, strengthened by Him. But we stray. I can think of many instances in my life when I’ve strayed from God, strayed from His love, strayed from His Word, strayed from speaking with Him, strayed from obedience.
But as The Assemblie’s song “Stray” says, new mercies rise with the morning sun. And as many times as we give up on God, He loves us throughout it.
Mystery of all mysteries, what You’ve done in my heart. Once stained by sin and shame, You’ve restored innocence. Why I have this second chance I will never know, I’ll never know.
Have you ever understood that idea fully? I haven’t either. But I think, honestly, we get to experience it a little bit when we take in a stray animal. We love them and we care for them and we give them everything they need. Sometimes they might be too much for us to handle, and this is where the analogy ends. We might give the animal away or put it down (sad face), but God doesn’t. Ever. (Note: I’m not saying we outlaw putting animals down. Not what this is about.)
How crazy is that to you? Has that ever struck you as incredible? Have you ever been astounded? You can return to God and be loved and cared for just as much as you were when you first came. God doesn’t put us down or give us away. He gives millions of second chances.
Why? I’ll never know.