by Velma Amundson
Today, I’ve got another “lesson from my cats”. These two kittens were found wrapped up together on the sidewalk when they were 1 week old. Fortunately, a very nice lady took them in and bottle fed them for the next 2 weeks, until her landlord said, no. We got them when they were 3 weeks old. They’ve been together their entire lives, and they’re now 3 years old. They look after each other, call to each other, play with each other, groom each other. But, occasionally, like all sisters, they have a spat. John and I usually just ignore these and let them settle them on their own. Pretty soon, we see them wrapped up together again, mutually grooming each other and then going to sleep together.
Remember the parable of the unforgiving servant?
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.
Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matt 18:21-35 (NASB)
To me that says every time we are asked to forgive someone, we need to. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive one time. When we are repeatedly hurt, it gets really difficult. I’ve been through some of that, and I know for me it was really difficult to let go of the hurt and forgive. But, with God’s grace I’ve been able to. And that’s freeing. Cats live in the moment, not holding on to past hurts. They get over it and go on. I pray we can all take a lesson from my cats and forgive every time.