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Posts Tagged ‘#parableofthelostsheep’

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“Stanley?” was the unexpected response I was texted from my daughter.

I looked at her response, and pondered at the question.

Stanley was a cat that we once had. He was black as night, soft as silk, had beautiful amber eyes and …

was completely evil …

no, really, he was evil!

I admit that I love cats, and had never met a cat, before Stanley, who I ever would have called evil … but he was.

He would bite and scratch and hiss and I think he even growled.

He would reach out and puncture our feet with his razor sharp claws if we walked too closely to him.

When the dog would be sleeping peacefully in her chair, the cat would stealthily sneak up, scratch the dog’s nose and run away.

He was evil!

But, we adored him anyway.

And then, one summer night, more than six years ago, he sneaked outside as I was letting the dog out. I called him and he turned around to face me, and I am certain that, in a non-verbal, feline way said, “I’m leaving and I won’t be back.”

We heard the coyotes that night …

we always say he ran off to teach the coyotes how to be truly evil.

And he came back.

Recently, hubby said, in a most untypically mysterious way,

“check out the deck.”

There on the deck was a mostly black, tabby cat.

I took a quick pic (the one on this page) and texted it to our daughter.

Then came her response,

“Stanley?”

Because the cat had moved, the picture I took was blurry, and what was a tabby, looked like a black cat … like Stanley.

I was intrigued that after all these years, she would think that Stanley was still alive. Then I thought about every time I saw a black cat in our neighborhood, or saw a picture of one from the local shelter. I too always looked closely to see if it might be our cat.

Why do we keep looking for our evil cat?

Maybe it is because we loved him …

He was ours, and we cared for him, and fed him and kept him warm and safe …

even though he seemed to resent our actions.

As I pondered my daughter’s text, I was reminded of the season of Lent.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep.

As all sorts of people were listening to Jesus, there were also Pharisees scoffing and saying, “this man spends time with evil people.” They said it because outward appearance was of such value in their society. What you wore, what your job was, who you hung out with … hum, not that different from today really!

So, Jesus goes on to tell his story. 

“What would a good shepherd do, if one of his ninety-nine sheep went missing? Of course he would leave the rest and search for the lost one until he finds it, and happily brings it back.”

He then continues,

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

When Jesus went to the cross, he didn’t just do so for the souls of the good, the righteous, the pretty on the outside. He suffered, he sacrificed, for all! The really, really evil and the not so bad.

But, in God’s economy, is there a differentiation?

Romans 3:23 reminds us,

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

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