All for Love

Driving to church, on the way to Vacation Bible School, she saw something odd on that old county roadside. It wasn’t a rabbit. It wasn’t a squirrel – the usual sightings. Her mind scrolled like a computer through the assortment of possibilities, crossing off each one.

He said, “It’s a kitten.”

She said, “It was! Turn around!”

He whipped that car around, pulled over on the roadside, and hollered, “Hurry! A car’s coming.”

She and her two girls jolted out of that car, and three tiny kittens came crying to them, seeking help. Hands outstretched with love, those babies were picked up, one by one. Ensuring she wasn’t leaving anyone behind or there wasn’t a momma cat, she searched the nearby brush.

Out of the brush, a tiny black baby came crying. With outstretched hands, she caught hold of it.



Three boys and a girl


The black one is the strongest and most active.

The calico is the weakest, most needy.

And the gray ones are just right. They snuggle.

We have nourished and cleaned them. Thankfully, we’ve taken fleas off them and haven’t taken fleas for them yet.

Loving and comforting them came so easily.
 
A tiny salsa bowl.
 

Shades vary. Strengths vary. Different, but they all have purpose. They are all beautiful. They have all taken our hearts. We have known them for mere days, and …

our hearts are wrapped around their tiny paws with claws.


Unable to keep them, we’ll begin looking for good homes. And already, tears flow at the mere mention of the parting.

***


Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt turning his back, in a sense, on John (the Baptist)? If He wept over the temporary death of Lazarus, how His God-man heart must have ripped over John. There John sat in prison, and Jesus could have rescued him, just as he could have saved Himself on that cross. But the plan. There was a greater plan.

God saw our desperate need, whipped around, and with outstretched arms, Jesus embraced the cross. And we’d be fools not to run to Him. John was definitely part of that plan.

To aid us on this journey, nourish and clean us up, God often brings a variety of folks into our lives with outstretched arms to  encourage, offer advice, give direction. Valuable ones come into our lives, by no mere coincidence, leave their mark, and sometimes exit the plan.

***


Last week, I voiced a concern on a middle grade novel I’m working on. I often wonder if I’m wasting my time. Will it ever leave my computer desktop? Should it? God brought a dear friend into my life to relay this to me:

“Shouldn’t you trust us – the people who appreciate your skill and faith – to like what you do?

In team-building exercises, there’s the famous ‘falling backwards’ exercise, in which you trust the people you’re teamed with to catch you before you crack your head.

We’ll catch you, Shelli. We love you.”

There is no way to express what those words meant. They are now forever etched on my heart. They brought courage.

There are those who bless our lives more than we could ever relay. We never know how long they’ll grace our lives here today, out tomorrow.

But we take the painful risk over and over again.

All for love.


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