I had the honor of sharing the devotional last week at a Board Meeting. It was not my turn, but God laid on my heart the burdens we see each week at our 8th Street Mission. Because of this, I am reminded of Steve the Cat and his horrific journey to us and to his glorious and miraculous recovery.
I shared from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn…”
We have been alerted through our weekly prayer walks that some of our old friends from our Midtown Commons days have resurfaced in the neighborhood and perhaps as many as 20 are living in one location. By observation, it is obvious that they have fallen victim to those old demons. If we are reading what we are seeing correctly, it’s heroin and they are all knee deep in it and it’s heartbreaking.
Steve the Cat came to us on a recent Thanksgiving night while we were in New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Our cat wrangler and sitter Mike realized that he had gained a new face and that little Steve was in trouble.
You see Steve had a raging infection in his body leaving him blind, emaciated, and in cardiac distress. He was dehydrated, had lost his ability to stand and somehow found his way onto our deck, through the cat door and found one of our pillowed cat cubbies where he prepared to die.
However, like so many times in life our God is in the little details, nudging us along and allowing us to see where he needs us to be. When we returned, we scooped little Steve up, all 3 pounds of him and headed to the Hollis Animal Clinic trying to decide if Steve would make it or if it would become just comfort measures for his last few and sad days. Dr. Hollis went to work giving Steve liquids and antibiotics and sending us home with a grocery list of do’s and don’ts to try to save our little gift from death. She told us that the outcome and his condition was grim.
This is where God stepped in, because Michael (not cat wrangler and sitter Mike) my best friend from grade school mailed a huge box of high fiber, high protein cat food to us arriving the same week we began Steve’s rehabilitation after the loss of his cat Buddy. Slowly through the shots, treatments and food Steve began to improve. I think we can honestly say that it took 6 to 7 months before Shelly and I ever said aloud, “I think Steve is going to make it.”
Isn’t Steve’s story just so God? The metaphor of how it is that we must come to him broken, dehydrated, emaciated and preparing to die so that the God of the universe will step in and begin our own journey of restoration, hope, and redemption. That choice is ours because he is waiting, praying that our face will turn to him. We have a saying around 8th Street that, “You have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired,” and we have seen God meet person after person right in the midst of their death march when they finally become sick and tired.
I closed our devotion time with the first line of Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
So for us, our season and our time is now, intentionally Jericho Prayer walking the house of our 20 old friends. Verbalizing the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the good news that he is there with us just waiting for these young kids caught up in the demons of Satan to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
We celebrated our second anniversary this past Thanksgiving with Steve the Cat. He is healthy and vibrant and although he will never regain his sight he is just one of the guys around the house. He has been known to chase his sisters through every room and across the entire length of the house. Steve gets into swatting matches with his brothers and thankfully allows us to sleep on one side of the bed as long as we do not bother him in his position laying sideways in the middle.
God is in the details, indeed.
Join us Thursdays at 7:30 PM as we prayer walk Midtown.