Ethan’s feet were planted firmly. He was determined to go up the ladder and catch that cat. The cat fled to the other side of the house. The village chief stood by, taking it in.
Hours later, I was talking with the chief at a roadside stall with villagers gathered around. The Chief stated, “We will give you a cat.”
Giving me no time for an excuse, he snatched up a little black kitten. In fear and displeasure, the kitten threatened to bite and scratch. It had no intention of leaving. Grabbing it by the legs, the chief stuffed it into a plastic basket and tied it shut. I watched, not sure what to think. Maybe I should tell him that I didn’t want a cat. But I just smiled and accepted the gift. “Please don’t eat it. It will catch lots of mice,” he said, handing me the basket.
“Thanks,” was all I could think to say.
I set the basket next to me, talking sweetly to it as I drove away. I felt sorry for the kitten, and I still had doubts about welcoming it into our family.
As I opened the front door, Hadassah approached. I didn’t want her to get her hopes up that this was a cuddly little kitten, when in reality it might turn out to be a miniature man-eating tiger.
“Hadassah, we have a kitten,” I said. “But, Hadassah, I don’t know how this is going to go. The kitten is very angry. It may be afraid of you. It might not let you hold it. We are all going to have to work very hard to earn its trust.”
In the kitchen, I carefully opened the basket. The kitten immediately fled and hid. At least this will scare away mice, I thought.
The next day, I played a video of cat sounds. Though confused, the kitten responded to it. The interaction was encouraging. But I knew it was going to be a slow process.
My children talked to the kitten. Surprisingly, it didn’t flee much. It meowed at us as if wanting our company.
The next day, the kitten stalked us carefully, its fear giving way to curiosity. Jephthae picked it up, and it willingly allowed her to hold it. No scratches, no bites. Its fear was being overcome by the need for love. An hour later, I picked it up, and it fell asleep in my lap.
People, too, can be scary when they are afraid. Yet with tender love and care, angry lions can be changed to cuddly Christians. Sinners’ hearts can be transformed by the love of God. What took only three days in the heart of a little kitten, God can do in the hearts of men. Christ tells us that, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32 KJV). God is eager to pick us up and hold us. He wants to comfort and care for us. He wants to tame our hearts, just like that little scared kitten, because there is no fear in love.