This morning I just had to take a break from editing on my latest book project and step outside. The sky is blue, the air is fresh and yesterday's snow (not a lot) is providing a contrast that delights the senses. So, I stepped outside and just enjoyed the pleasantness God built into this day. I'd like to think He did it all just for me, but the truth is God sends sunshine and fresh air and soft, white blankets of snow to everyone. He loves to bless us that way.
Sitting on the corner of our deck is a small bowl of cat food. We don't own a cat – but we do have a cat. A couple of months ago I noticed a cat that seemed to be hanging out in our yard. It had tabby markings, short ears that looked like they'd been chewed on, and a tail with all kinds of bends and crooks. Clearly, life has not been easy for this kitty. Well, stray cats are stray cats, so I just ignored it. I figured it would find a different place to hang out and eventually disappear. Only it didn't.
Now, I'm not a touchy-feeley, I-feel-so-sorry-for-the-poor-kitty-I've-got-to-save-it kind of person. If I thought it was suffering, I would try to capture it and then put it down. But this cat kept hanging around, scuttering away whenever it saw me, clearly struggling with the hardness of life. Seeing this struggle I decided to see if I couldn't make just one thing easier for it. So I bought a bag of cheap cat food and have been putting food out for it ever since. It's just a stray cat, but an act of kindness toward even a wild kitty is still a good thing to do and it does my heart good every time I fill that little bowl. I figure if I can fatten it up a little, it will make the rest of its life-struggles easier.
That's how God is with us. He gives us bright, sunshiny days that ease our struggles, just because He likes being kind. He likes being kind – especially to those of us who are strays. He is just as kind to those of us who have made Him central in our lives and call ourselves Christian, but He has a special place in His heart for the “strays”. By the way, another term for God's kindness is "unconditional love". He loves – unconditionally – the strays every bit as much as the domesticated variety.
My goal with this stray kitty isn't to tame it down and turn it into a pet. I wouldn't pass up a chance to do that, but really, I just want to be kind to it. The point I'm making here is that, with a world full of stray people, all struggling to make it through life, we Christians who have already found peace and are living in God's home with Him, should do what He does – show kindness to the struggling, stray person. Now maybe, in the process, we might get a chance to share Christ with them. Maybe not. But God showers blessing on everyone – stray and redeemed alike. So should we.