You know how Facebook has those “three years ago today” snapshot/status blurbs? How about nearly a decade ago, today? The perpetual request to add another cat to our now-collection of two is undying, but on that day, I gave in. It was an ambush.
Here I was, poor, defenseless, enroute from a back-to-school Kindergarten teachers’ party in Wetumpka when I called Mike to check in with the morning’s errands. As you probably know, each household has “its LIST” of “must do before school starts” jobs. He had his and I had mine, and we rendezvous often to check the progress on them. Only THIS TIME one of his list items had been to take Micah, our newest cat, to the vet for his annual shots. That was dangerous, and I should have known.
“The kids can’t WAIT for you to get home. There is a new litter of kittens at The Ark who are ready for adoption….and all of our trips are behind us now (chorus in the background…”Oh, Mama, they’re so CUTE!!! One looks like Micah, another is pure black, and most of them are all gray…except there’s this one with more white on it…”)…IT’S UP TO YOU.” (THANK YOU SO MUCH!) I told them WE WOULD DISCUSS IT LATER.
24 hours later, on that summer day nearly ten years ago, we welcomed Zipporah into our family. She was the lone female in our then-collection of cats. We did not claim “Ridge” any longer; he was a part-wild cat (“feral”) we found on I-65 several years ago as a kitten who loved our food and shelter but not us. That’s grace and agape love personified…with him as the “UNgrateful recipient”. Max was from a family in Lee County, the long-awaited pet cat we were able to finally have when we transitioned from the parsonage lifestyle into owning our first home when we moved to Millbrook. Micah was the runt of a well-cared-for litter in Columbia, Alabama, whose name reflects the Micah 5:2 phrase, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times”. The ONE was Jesus, and it goes to prove, as Micah has, that great things come in small, seemingly inconsequential packages.
And Zipporah? Well, she was the wife of Moses, who was rescued from the pit of an evil death plan. We were told that this litter of kittens was brought to The Ark, sick and not expected to live, plagued by an upper respiratory infection. They were destined to be put to sleep, but even after several weeks of touch and go, they rallied and are the picture of health now. There is something somewhat secure in adopting from “the experts”… but, more alluring to me as I endeavor to see significance in everything, I can’t help but think of WellSpring and the many twists and turns this journey has taken us all…as well as the “near death” experiences those of us closest to the fire have seen it encounter.
Simply put, Zipporah was rescued twice. Once, by the good people at The Ark. Next, by us. Yes, it was somewhat inconvenient to adopt a new baby into an already established one, busy as we were…busy as all humans are! Yes, she needed a little different food, more inside time at first, and definitely lots of patience and love…but the joy on our children’s faces and the sure knowledge that they’re seemingly growing up faster than little kittens made the decision easy. A temporary inconvenience for long-term gain.
Truth is, we all need rescuing in some way or another…from bad habits, from bad choices, from self-centered absorption, from hopelessness, from more than we can even imagine, I am sure. Who needs rescuing in your life? Where is God calling you to accept a little inconvenience? As Steve Sjogren, planter of Cincinnati Vineyard shares in his book Conspiracy of Kindness, “discarded pennies add up.” Won’t you stoop to pick one up today?”