In 2013 one of my precious family members, Lestat Renfield de Kittycourt – a cheeky tuxedo cat – faced two life threatening health scares. At the time there were quite a few people who were very quick to judge my decision to do whatever it took to save his life, these comments were what inspired me to write the following reflection. I hope you enjoy it.
In spite of his aristocratic sounding name, Lestat is in fact a short haired domestic cat of dubious heritage. He likes to put on airs and graces in an attempt to convince us his father was a Persian, but I’m not so sure; I knew his mother and quite frankly she wasn’t that choosy. We rescued Lestat’s pregnant mother when she was dumped and left behind when her human family decided to relocate, so our fuzzy little friend and his siblings have been with us since before they were even born.
From his earliest days Lestat has always been the “naughty” one in the litter, and I suppose that’s one of the reasons we all love him so much. I mean, who doesn’t love a bad boy? Anyway, as a result of one of his more dangerous exploits – he has a serious string addiction – he is currently recovering from major surgery to his intestines. It is only day four post surgery, and while he is looking stronger every day the vet has told us that he won’t be out of the woods for at least a week. I’m fairly convinced he has about 6 lives left.
Now, the reason I’m telling you about my little friend’s illness, is because of an offhand comment that was made regarding whether or not he was worth saving. The comment went something like this “well it’s not like he’s an exotic breed or anything.” Those words really got my little grey cells ticking over and this is what they came up with: Does our value depend on our background and past, is it only the favoured few who deserve saving?
Cats are not the only living things that are treated as though disposable. How often do we see people being treated with similar disdain? Sadly, too often. From the homeless person sleeping rough, that passersby avoid eye contact with; to the residents of public housing estates that are made to feel as if they deserve no better. Does being homeless mean that you don’t experience the range of human emotions that those of us who are fortunate enough to have homes experience? Does living in a run down public housing estate mean that you shouldn’t want and deserve more? Of course not.
Who are we to say that some people are more valuable than others? I am so grateful that God doesn’t view us the way that person who commented about Lestat’s disposability does. However, there are times when we can be tempted to view others like that. Unlike most of us, God doesn’t look at a person’s background or their parents. He doesn’t care if they are a pampered exotic breed or a plain old alley cat that’s been around the block a few times. The bible tells us that he loved us so much that he sent Jesus to live and walk among us so that fallen humanity could once again be reunited with it’s Creator. God has extended his grace to us, we don’t deserve it and we didn’t earn it. His motivation was simple – he loves you. The bible doesn’t say God loves, it says he is love. Like Lestat, you have someone who will fight for you, love you and care for you.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17 The Message)