A few weeks ago my daughter was looking through the Umpqua Shopper just for fun. There was a picture of a kitten with an ad offering a reward for the finder of said kitten, and I thought that was odd.
I mean, kittens are a dime a dozen. You could drive around and find a hundred cats whom no one claimed and a hundred more that would be rightfully and gratefully given to you.
So why would you offer a reward for a missing kitten?
These were just the cynical thoughts I was having while my daughter read the paper and I prepared dinner.
I do like cats, and I’m not anti-pet in any way. We have had cats in the past and we enjoyed their company. But I have never in my life paid money for a cat or offered a monetary reward for one.
Take it to the vet? Yes. Feed it? Yes. Flea medicine and wormer? Definitely. But when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Dogs seem to be a different matter in my mind. I don’t know why it makes more sense to me to pay money for a dog or to offer a reward for its return, but it does. Are there more cats in the world than dogs, making them less valuable? Is it a case of supply and demand? There really isn’t a shortage of either, I just think differently about them.
We tend to look at ourselves in the same way. We have thoughts like, “I am just one person in a mass of people in this world,” or “God doesn’t really notice and care about the details of my life” as if God paid special attention to celebrities and politicians and great humanitarians, but the rest of us were just bystanders.
If your child lost a beloved kitten, you would go to some extent to find the cat and comfort your child. You would spend at least a few days looking and calling and setting out special food to try to woo the wanderer back. You might even offer a reward for its return.
And after a week or so, you’d help your child start to move on – maybe you’d even get a new pet to replace the lost one.
But if your child were missing…
I don’t even have to tell you the trouble you would go through to find your precious child, because you’ve probably already run through the whole scenario in your mind. The ends of the earth would not be too far.
You are created by God with His own image – just like our children have our similar physical and emotional and mental attributes, and He knit you together in your mother’s womb.
He knit your children together and knew each of them before they were even a thought in your mind.
If there are hundreds of millions of cats in the world and more than seven billion people (here’s an interesting website: http://www.census.gov/popclock/), God knows each and every one, and it’s no sweat for Him to care deeply about each one.
It’s no trouble for the God who created the universe and the oceans and your body to see you on a Monday morning, struggling to start another week, straining to be gentle with your children and patient with interruptions, hoping for help from Somewhere.
The help you hope for would place an ad for you in the Shopper and would spend His days scouring the earth till He found you.
He would ignore the people who say, “Meh. Let her go - people like her are a dime a dozen.”
He would leave the 99 to bring you back to safety, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 18.
Out of all the seven billion people on the globe right now, He is intensely interested in you and knows you and His plan is for you to know Him.
I scoffed at the reward for a missing kitten and God used it to show me the difference between my thoughts and His, between what I think is valuable and what truly is.
So to the mom who feels lost in her motherhood – God knows you, right where you are.
And to whoever placed that ad for the kitten, thank you. I hope you found what was lost.
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. Matt. 18:11