Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Finding Rambo

There comes a time in life when, for our own good, we try to convince ourselves that we can live with fewer things.

Fewer nick-knacks to collect dust, fewer pieces of clothing to adorn our “mature” bodies, fewer pieces of furniture and fewer pictures on the wall and my favorite, fewer animals to fill our days and nights.

That special friend we swore would be the last, and made a declaration to ourselves that the one that just passed away was it … that was enough and there was no more room for another and that was that … no more animals. No matter how cute and fuzzy and irresistible they are. There is just no more room for them.

But I have to tell you in my case, God had a different idea.

Because you see, God KNOWS the desires of our hearts. That’s plural, not singular. He made us to want things, pretty things, comfortable things like nice cloths and great pictures for the walls and lots of food, and soft sheets and beds that you never want to get out of, and yes, pets.

He said in Psalm 37:3-5 to;

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Yes, there are a couple of requirements, to trust Him and do good, (that is a desire of all of our hearts I believe), Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness … I think He just wants us to stay steadfast. He wants us to stay close to him; Dwell with him, in all things as we trust him and become faithful to him (yes, it is a process). Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of you heart. If we commit and trust in Him while doing those things, he says He will do it. That is so awesome to me. And God is not a lair.

That is my verse – and it says it all for me in this instance.  

The definition of delight is a high degree of gratification:  joy; also:  extreme satisfaction and I have to agree that I am grateful to God for loving me. It’s a love I don’t deserve.  I find great joy in knowing he is in charge of my life and there is a good plan in store for me.  I am satisfied with the results I have gotten as I follow his lead and not mine. I decided that my ways are much less satisfying than his. I have committed to him, trusting him, because looking back on my history with him, he has never disappointed me, and he knows what I want and need before I do, and that is comforting to me.

So with that I will get on with the story.

In this particular instance, the desire was specifically a cat; but I kept saying no to the idea. The subject was a very tiny, scared black kitten that was oddly out of place, but fit right in, immediately, after I rescued him from the jungle of my side yard.

It was three days after my cat, Midnight, who I had for ten years, passed away. He was the pick-of-the-litter in the cat world and he had grown to an enormous size and weight of about 20 pound. He could barely walk he was so fat. He had been outside a few days near the end, not wanting to come in, not moving from his spot next to the porch, so I brought him inside to stay warm. He felt oddly cold so I made him a little bed in the entry way and I sat on the floor with him and combed him and talked to him until he was resting.

Sadly, it would turn out to be his last night.

I found him under my the coffee table in the living room early the next morning, curled up as I usually found him resting, this time for the last time,  peacefully leaving this life of ten long years.

I sat and cried for a very long time. We had been through a lot together. We had tackled divorce, moving to a new house, loss of a job, little money, sickness, cans of tuna when there was no cat food(he loved that treat), and perfect timing to get him outside to do his business. He was too big to fit into a regular litter box. He made it out most times. Other times …

I buried him in the side yard next to the Purple Lilac bush. I had found him out there a few times in the heat of a summers day and I figured it would be nice to remember him enjoying the shade there.

 I cried a little more after the tiny little farewell I did for him, and I smoothed out the ruff dirt on the grave, leaving another piece of my life behind. His name was Mid-Night and he was pure black with golden eyes and had the longest whiskers I have ever seen. His death really left a void in my life. Little did I realize God knew that too, and he had plans to take care of it, in an unusual almost sneaky way;  because believe it or not, God has a great sense of humor.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I was spending the day alone. I decided to take a stroll over to where Mid-Night was buried. It had only been three days, and the first time I had gone near his grave.  I remembered him a bit standing there, and when I was done I took a seat and rested on a large rock hidden in the bushes near that spot.

It was a beautiful day, very warm, overcast, and as I sat there listening to the birds singing, a tiny little MEOW began penetrating the air,  getting louder and louder as I listened. Looking around, off to my left, under the Honey Suckle bush was, yes, to my surprise, the tiniest peanut of a black kitten I had ever seen.

Abandon and hungry, he hadn't been away from his mother very long, and he and I fell in love at first sight, though I did try to fight it. I am just a sap for kittens.

"SURPRISE!", I said to myself,  …  and I just started to laugh and I mean belly  laugh out loud right there in the lawn. I finally said to God, “it’s not funny,” and I smiled at the thought that he really did know what I wanted, because I really did miss Mid-Night, and I then decided that this kitten must have been sent, just for me.  He was pure black with golden eyes. He looked just like Midnight. He was bit beat up, with a sore ear, dirty eyes and nose and an empty stomach, for sure, and he meowed his way right into my heart.

Not only did I get a new cat, I got one that looked exactly like the one I just lost. That was just God’s way of telling me … “I am listening to your heart.”

After I caught this fast moving kitten, I could set him in the palm of my hand, he was so very tiny. He sat there, head up, looking at me with those golden eyes, meowing as loud as he could as I carried him to the house, and straight into my heart. There was no turning back.

 I was going to try and be mean and leave him outside, hoping he would take off, but there was none of that happening. So I let him in to meet Patch (my dog) and a friendship was cast like no other. To this day I think the cat thinks he is dog. After Patch gave the kitten a quick Bulldog drool bath, they formed a bond that would never be broken; and the rest, as they say,  is history.

Then it came time to name him, and that was a challenge, because everyone had THE name for him. From Miracle to Surprise to Ebony … but he deserved something strong, something that would reveal his character, how tough and resilient he was, a name that showed courage and charm and survival. So after many days of listening and contemplation, I named him Rambo.
He lives up to that name every day, and I just could not imagine my life or my home without him now. He livens up my house, he greets company like he is the “other” dog, he sleeps on my pillow, very early in the morning, keeping a watchful eye out; and if his food bowl is empty, he will gently come in and touch my face and walk on me until I get up to feed him, following happily under my feet the whole way.

His favorite toys are bells that he carries around in his mouth and swats around in the bathtub, hitting them in the air and across the room. He is a very smart, very playful cat.

He even has a special way of talking to me and the other animals in the house with a soft little purr-meow. He does it a lot when he is playing or looking for something. It is distinctly his.

He is a simply a blessing and I thank God for him every day. 

God knew that there would always be room for a cat, so he gave me this little orphan so we could live our lives together. I will never regret taking him in; he has become a permanent member of my family.

I still laugh at and love God’s sense of humor in all of this. Where Rambo came from is still a mystery, but wherever he came from, I have been blessed with having him in my life. He is a very special cat. It is clearly THEIR loss, whoever they are.

Realizing that God knows what I need and what I desire is a comfort, and it’s because he loves to see me happy that he gives me little surprises- God winks I call them – and Rambo has been one of the most special little gifts I have gotten thus far. 

I plan to enjoy Rambo for many years to come, because when I look at him I remember he is a desire of my heart, manifest. One I wasn't aware of, but one God gladly provided to bring joy into my life. For that I am very thankful. 

Rambo sleeping with his baby! 
Baby Rambo
Do you have a desires in your heart, known or secret? Let God know … you might just get what you are hoping for, even if you think you don't know you want it! 

Rambo ... watching it snow