We have three felines that let us share the house with them. Two are sisters who stay inside; we’ve had them for about 6 or 7 years. The other is a stray (guy) who followed Susan and Eli home one day a couple of years ago when they went for a walk. His name is Rex and he regularly ventures out into the real world.
The sisters tolerate Rex but he never misses a chance to harass them and pretty much rules the roost. Well… he did until Thor entered into the equation. Thor is our massive 3 1/2 pound fur ball; a Yorkie pup that we got a couple of months ago. And what they say is true; the smaller the dog the bigger the attitude!
Even though he’s the new kid on the block Thor truly thinks he’s in charge. We gate him into the Family Room/Kitchen area to keep him close while we train him to use the bathroom (outside). So the cats can easily stay clear of him except that Rex routinely uses the Family Room to enter and exit the house.
Without fail, Thor goes on the offensive whenever Rex comes into the same room. Rex occasionally takes the higher ground and swats at Thor but without claws it is not much of a deterrent. And yet, when they are together outside it is a completely different story.
Thor is on a leash whenever he’s out and has no problem with Rex coming right up to him. The other day Susan took Thor out and every time he squatted to … you know, Rex rubbed up against him like a cat will do when they’re looking for some affection.
What amazes me is that Rex would want anything at all to do with Thor outside after all the grief Thor gives him when they are inside. When people treat me like that I usually avoid any future encounters. But that’s not what Jesus modeled or taught.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. … If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” ~ Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message)
I guess if God can use a donkey to speak to Balaam (Numbers 22) then He can use a stray farm cat to teach me about loving like He loves.
Lord, empower us today to live generously and graciously towards others!