The Cat

August 9, 2017
by Lynne Phipps

John 9:35 – Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" (NIV)

My neighbours were going away, and they asked if I would drop in daily to feed their cat, Riley. I told them that I would be happy to look after him.

The first two days, Riley greeted me happily. On the third day, it took me twenty minutes before I found him upstairs hiding under a table. He looked frightened and stressed. The fourth day, I couldn't find him at all. I e-mailed his owners to see if they knew of any special place that he might be hiding. They couldn't think of anywhere, and they were worried about him. I told them that I would go back over and look again, and if I found him, I would bring him to my house for the duration of their holiday. After an extensive search, I discovered him jammed into a very dark narrow spot. Pulling him out, I put him into a cat carrier, collected all his gear, and took him to my place. Within a few days, Riley was his contented, old self.

Riley became scared and depressed after his owners left him alone. He probably felt abandoned and thus withdrew, hiding himself away, not understanding what had happened or why.

In John 9:1-34, we can read the story of a man born blind, whom Jesus healed. After he was healed, the Pharisees, the church leaders, did not want to believe in this miracle. When they discovered that it was true, and when he testified that it was Jesus who had healed him, they became angry and ultimately threw him out of the temple. How devastating this must have been for this poor fellow to be tossed out, abandoned. But when Jesus heard about this, He went and found him. He also revealed to the man just Who He was. He was more than a prophet; He was the Son of Man. The man embraced this truth and worshipped Him. He was no longer an outcast but a follower of Jesus.

What might have happened to him, I wonder, if Jesus had not taken the time to find him and draw him to Himself?

Many people today, like the man from this story, suffer abandonment or rejection for various reasons and from various sources. Much like Riley the cat, they become frightened and depressed. They often withdraw and hide themselves away, perhaps feeling that it is their own fault or that they can't trust people again. If any of us knows someone like this, I pray that we might be like Jesus and take the time to go and find them and reassure them of both our love and the Lord's eternal love for them. For in so doing, like Jesus, we, too, may become instruments of healing and restoration.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You found us and drew us to Yourself. May we, like Jesus, be willing to seek out those whom we know may be suffering from rejection and sorrow. Through the power of Your Spirit, may we be used as instruments of healing and restoration in their lives. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Another good one Lynne.


    Thanks for another wonderful devotion, Lynne.


    Thank you Lynne for your very special Devotional.
    Every Blessing on your day.


    ‎You most certainly hit the nail on the head: abandonment or rejection can lead to devastating consequences. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to really care enough and to reach out in God’s love.
    Thank you!


    Thank you …
    Unfortunately, there are those within our Church families who feel like Riley the cat … who feel abandoned, alone and who feel they don’t seem to fit in …
    Take care and have a great day


    Very interesting comparison! How many in the church withdraw and nobody ever goes to them? They just disappear, and we tell ourselves: well, they don’t like us, they don’t care, they didn’t really have faith, etc, etc.. if we even notice in our busy lives. Yet, when someone is injured, sick, scared, facing loss and life falling apart, that is when they most need to know their church cares about them. Wow.


    I see we both have an affinity for lessons learned from our pets.
    I loved this devotional and it certainly resonated with me because of my dog. Also, it clearly made the point that we must be aware of those who feel the way Riley did. Cat or not, feeling abandoned is a fear that can only be eradicated by love.. God’s and man’s.
    Thanks Lynne.


    Lynne, thanks for sharing this devotional with us. I’m reminded of my brother who always hid whenever discord erupted at home. After our last parent died, his reaction was to hide. Never leaving home, he suffered from great grief and was plagued by fear. By the time the authorities stepped in, he was barely existing, and in need of rescue. Sadly, he had to be institutionalized. Sick as he was, he had deep faith. I was like a little mother to him. Although I believe he’s with the Lord, I guess I’m still grieving his loss. Just thought I’d share how much your devotional means to me. Blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for the cat story and its parallel-plus.
    In John 9:1-34, we can read the story of a man born blind, whom Jesus healed. After he was healed, the Pharisees, the church leaders, did not want to believe in this miracle. When they discovered that it was true, and when he testified that it was Jesus who had healed him, they became angry and ultimately threw him out of the temple. How devastating this must have been for this poor fellow to be tossed out, abandoned. But when Jesus heard about this, He went and found him. He also revealed to the man just Who He was. He was more than a prophet; He was the Son of Man. The man embraced this truth and worshipped Him. He was no longer an outcast but a follower of Jesus.
    May God keep you being a prophet for Jesus who was more than a prophet.


    Interesting thoughts Lynne. Blessings.


    I am sure there are times we all feel like Riley, and being a cat person, I know exactly what you describe.
    I am glad we know Jesus by Name, although sometimes we don’t act like it!
    Blessings.


    Thanks for your contributions to The Record. You always have a message that touches my heart. You are a true Christian and would have been a good disciple. I often wonder why Christ didn’t include women as disciples. They certainly impacted his ministry.
    Cheers and Blessings.

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