Monday, April 25, 2011

What a Wonderful World

I am listening to Michael Buble station on Pandora tonight and a song just came on that reminds me of my oldest son, Justin, who happens to be turning 23 today. 

The song is What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. When he was about 9 or 10, he really liked this song for some reason. I wonder if he liked the gravelly sounding voice of Mr. Armstrong. Or, maybe the hopefulness of the lyrics.

These days he has a pretty wide variety of taste in music. I'm not sure if he still likes the sound of Louis Armstrong. Whether he still likes it or not, I have very pleasant memories whenever I hear it, of a young boy who grooved to one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century. Thanks for the sweet memory Justin!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For love of a kitty cat....

"I think you'll get to meet Bandit!". This was the text that I had gotten the day before from my young adult son in arranging a 'wedding invite addressing party' for this particular Tuesday evening. This was pretty exciting news to me, since I had aleady seen Bandit's picture on Facebook. Only later in the evening did it dawn on me that in a few short weeks Bandit will be my Grand-kitty!
My son had to step out of our invite addressing party to go pick up Bandit from the professional groomer. My son and his fiance had found Bandit on a pet adoption site and had driven to a nearby town just the previous Saturday to go look at her. They both told me that when they met Bandit, they knew right away that they wanted to adopt her. They felt an immediate connection with her. 
Bandit nimbly stepped out of the newly purchased cat carrier that was her new transportation. Because of matted fur, they had to have her shaved and bathed at the groomer.  Still, she seemed like a beautiful Siamese to me, with the striking markings that are true to that breed, and very large eyes. She seemed comfortable enough to step out into a home that was not her own, and begin sniffing her way around to check things out. It was only after she was already introduced to me, that I learned that she is completely blind. 
Of course, this immediately prompted more questions on my part. "Wow, how long has she been blind?" (her whole 6 years of life). "Did you know she was blind before you went to look at her?" (Yes, they said they had wanted and sought out a special needs cat, and it had said that she was special needs in the ad.) As I went back to watching Bandit make her way around a strange kitchen, I noticed that her nose would bump up against the island, or a chair, but she didn't seem bothered too much by that. She just quickly shifted her direction.
Once during the evening, we heard a meow that was lower sounding than the brief, higher pitched meows (her "conversational" meows) we'd been hearing as she wove in and out of our feet. My son said, "Hear that sound? That is the sound she makes when she's gotten lost somewhere away from us and isn't sure how to get back." Next thing I knew, I heard my son's fiance calling out, "Bandit!, over here!!" "Here we are, Bandit!", as she tried to reassure her new kitty that she wasn't alone, that we all were nearby.

My heart was warmed that night watching my son and his fiance care for this blind kitty cat. I could tell by the way they talked to her and shared how they had helped her get used to her new home, that they have great compassion for her. Bandit has been adopted into a very caring home, to two people who love her in spite of her disability and imperfections. It seems this little factor about her has captured the hearts of her owners in a deep way, which touched me greatly. 
As I watched them watch over her in a protective way, I was reminded of how my Heavenly Father watches over me. Just like they adopted Bandit, knowing of her imperfections, my Heavenly Father has adopted me just the way I am. He rescued me, failures and all, and through His Son Jesus, has given me a new (eternal) home. When I get lost and can't find my way, He calls out to me to let me know He's right there. That He's been there all the time, even when I couldn't see Him. 
I doubt my son or his fiance would have guessed the impact their adoption of a blind kitty cat would have on me. Their kindness to Bandit is a touching example to me of God's welcoming, redeeming love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Contemplating Easter Week

I have been reading out of Billy Graham's book, Unto the Hills, for my devotional lately.  I was so moved by what he had to say on April 9th, that I just have to share it. It made me think deeply all over again why I choose to celebrate Easter. It's titled simply, It was love...

"Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

It was love, the love of God, that put words such as these into the mouths and hearts of the prophets: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6.

It was love, the unerring love of God, that brought these prophecies into precise fulfillment. On a specific day marked on earth's calendar and in a specific place marked on earth's map, the Son of God came to this planet.

It was love that prompted the Son of God to reflect the same affection for the world as did God the Father, and to show a selfless compassion to the sick, the distressed, and the sin-burdened.
It was love that enabled Jesus Christ to become poor that we through His poverty might be rich.

It was love, divine love, that made Him endure the cross, despising the shame, and made Him endure the contradictions of sinners against Himself.

It was love that restrained Him when He was falsely accused of blasphemy and was led to Golgotha to die with common thieves; He raised not a hand against His enemies.

It was nothing but love that kept Him from calling twelve legions of angels to come to His defense.

It was love that made Him, in a moment of agonizing pain, pause and give life to a repentant sinner who cried, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into they kingdom!"

It was love that, after every known torture devised by degerate man had been heaped upon Him, caused Jesus to lift His voice and pray, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34

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