This is a story of three little kittens.
Once upon a time, my brothers found some kittens in our backyard. They brought them inside, not realizing it was a death sentence for the little creatures who were only a few days old. We put them back out, but the mother cat never returned to feed the kittens. It’s quite normal for a mother cat to abandon her children if they are touched by humans.
After a day or so, I felt badly for the kittens that would surely die and I brought them back inside and tried to feed them and find them a better home. It was awful. One of the worst experiences ever. They always cried, because they needed their mother and I was an inadequate replacement. It was so heartbreaking for me to watch those little creatures slowly die. I lost sleep trying to feed them and even when I was not in the house I could hear their cries.
It was haunting.
Eventually, there was only one kitten left and I finally found someone with much more experience to care for him. It took a long while to recover from this awful experience. And it took a long time not to hear the kittens’ cry.
One night, a few weeks later, I had a dream about those kittens. In this dream, there was Jesus holding them while they cried.
I awoke and realized why I had been so utterly devastated by the crying. The kittens didn’t cry alone. They cried along with me. While I was desperately trying to save those tiny creatures’ lives, my brother was in a hospital far away fighting for life. I was crying for God to save him, but I didn’t know if He would save him or not. I was helpless, like an abandoned child.
Yesterday, I saw a picture of a Syrian refugee offering up his small baby to be saved from an overloaded raft. The refugees were all crowded together, their faces stricken by hopelessness. They are crying, because they have no safe place, no refuge for their children. And their cry of desperation mixes with mine.
Years ago, I was in a baby orphanage in Romania. There were three rooms filled with beds and a baby in each. The babies had no mother, no one to pick them up when they cried. And though I was only there a few hours, the cries of those motherless children are still with me today.
The kittens, the babies, the refugees, and me. Our cries go up to heaven and beg for hope. And there is Jesus, holding the dying kitten, and somehow as I think on that, I realize that He holds my heart too. And that’s enough.
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. ~Deuteronomy 32:39