Gracie was born in the wild. A tiny thing, she spent her first winter outside in the Connecticut cold. She might have died if a kind lady from a nearby drycleaners had not devised a makeshift shelter from an old box. The lady also brought food several times a week. Gracie was afraid of the lady and would not let her get near, but she used the shelter and she ate the food. And she lived through the winter. Spring came and then summer, and the lady continued to bring food. Before the cold weather came again, she brought something else--a box to take Gracie home with her.
Home was a warm place where other cats lived and where food was plentiful. The lady spoke kindly to Gracie and was the source of the food and warmth. Gracie understood that, but she was still afraid. She hid in closets and when the door was opened, she escaped outside and hid under the porch or in the garage. She spent most of another winter outdoors, just coming ‘home’ to get food that was placed on the porch for her.
That is Gracie in the photograph. She is well fed and healthy. But she does not yet know the pleasure of having her fur stroked. She has a home and someone to take care of her, but she cannot stop being afraid. She still startles easily, ready to run if the lady comes too close. Her lack of trust shows in her eyes. She is poised for flight on an instant’s notice.
Now winter is coming again. Will Gracie ever learn to trust? Will she ever relax and be completely at home in the place provided for her? These are questions that do not yet have answers. But the lady loves Gracie and she is patient. She will not give up until Gracie learns to trust and is truly ‘at home.’
We, too, are loved. And God will not give up on us. All we have to do is learn to trust him.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18, NIV).
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your love and patience with us. Help us to be made perfect in love so that our fears will be banished and our trust in you will be complete. Amen.