Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 18, 2009

My Cat Lincoln


A little over a week ago, our cat, Lincoln, died. Lincoln and our family had formed a special relationship from the time we rescued him from the army of stray cats that seemed to always march by our front door. Lincoln was different from the other strays. Instead of running from us, he would hang out around the front porch waiting for us to come out and pet and play with him. It wasn’t long before Lincoln was fully adopted into our family of pets.


Not long after Lincoln joined out family, we came home from work one day to find him unable to walk in a straight line. Then a few weeks later, he began to constantly scratch his head until he began to lose all the hair off his head. The vet was unable to determine the nature of Lincoln’s problems, but felt that he was probably suffering from some kind of neurological condition. So we came back home with Lincoln, a cone on his head to keep him from scratching it, and determined that if love could heal Lincoln, he would receive plenty. Thankfully, Lincoln did progress and gradually he became more sure-footed, although always a little slow, and gradually his shiny black hair grew back on his head.


Through the subsequent years – around 12 or so – we adjusted to life with our “special” cat. He no longer could go outside because his earlier problems had left him unable to defend or care for himself. He scared easily and would run crazy with no sense of direction. But inside, he was in his element. He liked to lay in the sunny spots on the carpet, or sit in the window where he would watch the birds in the trees outside. He particularly liked to lie in front of the glass storm door where he would watch the crows, squirrels, and other critters passing by – until he spotted a large white cat that always scared him. Then he would dash to our bedroom and hide under the bed. He loved to sit on the coffee table and watch TV – especially the animal programs on the National Geographic channel. He knew his name when you called him, but he would always turn his head in the opposite direction of your voice. He liked for you to comb his hair – especially on his head – and, believe it or not, the same cat who would run from something he saw outside, would let me run the vacuum cleaner wand over his back to collect loose hair. He always knew where to find a lap and had the loudest purr of any cat I had ever known. He was content and happy in his little world.


I was out of town when my husband called to let me know that Lincoln had died. We knew it was just a matter of time for he had been going down for some time. He had been losing weight over the past year and was just a scrap of the cat that he had once been. Still, I cried. I already missed the Lincoln we once had and now I couldn’t even run my fingers over his little bony body and tell him I loved him. It was a rough week.


Yet as I thought about how much I missed Lincoln and how difficult it was that I’d never see him again, I suddenly felt ashamed – not over my feelings for Lincoln – even God’s word tells us, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10a), but shouldn’t I feel an even greater concern for people who are dying everyday without knowing Christ? Yet when was the last time that I had truly mourned over the loss of someone who did not know Christ? When was the last time my heart was truly burdened to tell someone about Christ before it was too late?


Everyday people die who do not know Jesus, who have never accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. Just as I had a responsibility to care for Lincoln, do I not have a greater responsibility to help people learn about Jesus? Jesus’ last command to His disciples was “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a) Making disciples can take many different forms. It may mean telling a neighbor or coworker about Jesus. It could involve sending money to help a missionary serving in a foreign land. It could be witnessing for Jesus through teaching or singing. It could mean praying daily for missionaries, preachers, teachers, as well as people we know who need to know Jesus. Making disciples can take as many different forms as the God we serve decides to use. The method is not as important as the attitude of the heart. The heart fully submitted and surrendered to Jesus Christ will be burdened to seek to help others learn about Him to that they, too, can become part of God’s family.


Just think of the privilege of helping men, women, boys, and girls to learn about Jesus and then one day to experience that big family reunion in Heaven when all who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will finally see Him. That will truly be a day for rejoicing, thanksgiving, and praise. And who knows – animals may be there, too, for God’s word says, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) I wonder if there will be any cats there – perhaps a cat like Lincoln?

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