This is a true story of an account that happened to me this weekend.
This past Friday after bible study I went home and was on the phone talking to a friend. It was late and cold so I had my portable heater on, windows shut, and noise/light/cold canceling curtains drawn. All of that coupled with having my headphones halfway on to hear my friend clearly means that I should’ve heard nothing else.
But I heard it. The faintest cry… A moan… A cat. I thought I was hearing things but the cry came through again. I pulled back my curtains and opened the window… It cried again. I called to the wind “Kitty?”
At this point, the cat’s cries have also woken up a neighbor. I asked her if it was her cat, she replied that it wasn’t and that it must be a stray. I said, “I’m going to go find it.” I got off the phone and a minute later I was outside in the icy winter night. My goal was to find this cat and get it to a shelter the next day.
Clearly this cat didn’t realize the peril of getting caught in this horrible weather. It wasn’t built for freezing subzero weather. But I thought, “Not to worry! Your cry was heard! Help is on the way!!” My neighbor also joined me in the search and rescue.
However, the oddest thing happened. Once we were out there, in the cold and the dark, the cat went silent. We’d heard its cries and responded with the intention to help it, but it stopped. There we were, outside in pajamas racing against time to find a cat too scared to now be helped.
As the wind blew the snow, the cat’s tracks disappeared. Tricks like shaking food and leaving a food trail didn’t lure the cat out. Eventually, we called the search off.
I was troubled all night. I kept looking out the window, listening hoping the cat would call out again. It never did. In the morning, I sought God out. I asked Him what was I supposed to learn from this? What should I take away from this because it just felt bad? It hurt.
And as I was getting dressed He revealed: “There are some who would perish because they are afraid of help.”
How piercing and convicting! When I thought about it, this was something that I could even apply to myself. I’ve experienced crying out for help because I’m scared and cold and I have put myself in a position I couldn’t rescue myself from. But then when God sends help, I close up. I fear the help more than death. I’m lucky I didn’t die from refusing God’s help because of fear.
But someone IS just like that cat. Someone will cry out and get scared and chose death over salvation. To the cat’s defense, I can understand a fear of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. We are all guilty of it. Crying for God’s help only to realize that the healing process hurts too. We get scared. So scared that we would rather die. But whomever God calls to help you, will help. I’m not a cat person but I was fully prepared to rescue this cat and get it fed and in a warm space until I could safely deliver it to a shelter.
I urge you to let someone in to help. Even if it doesn’t feel comfortable. It’s better than death. Help is a risk and we’re not promised that it will be painless but I encourage you, if this is you, if you’re the cat in the freezing cold, don’t quiet yourself when help responds to you. Don’t die in the cold when the warmth of Gods love and grace are waiting for you.