“God, where are you? Why do all these things keep happening?” I hung my head and wept.
My father-in-law, recently diagnosed with lung cancer, had been very ill. My elderly mother had also suffered another mini-stroke, followed by a fall. In addition, I was going through many other trials. I desperately needed a touch from God.
No matter what I said, though, or how hard I prayed, I couldn’t hear God’s voice or feel His presence. I pressed on anyway, hoping I would somehow move the heart of God.
A few moments later, my cat, Bear, sashayed into the room, bellowing. I adore my cat (and all other animals for that matter), but I didn’t want to be bothered. I felt as though I was ready to snap.
I looked down at Bear, and as usual, the black and white ball of fur tugged at my heart with one glance.
“What are you crying about?” I said, picking him up. I hugged him, scratched behind his ears, and kissed him on the side of his face. I knew if I coddled him a bit, he’d go back about his business.
Once he began purring, I set him on the floor. Within seconds, he began meowing again.
“What is wrong with you?” I said. He just looked at me and howled. I knew then the poor critter was sensing my feelings, so I was sure there would be no shutting him up any time soon.
I got up and walked downstairs, hoping to find another quiet place to pray. As I reached the bottom of the steps, I heard Bear’s paws, padding behind me.
Please, God, make him go lie down or something. I can’t take much more.
Bear persisted following me through the house, no matter where I went.
I finally ducked into the living room, thinking I had lost my private-eye kitty. I was wrong. He jumped in lickety-split behind me.
“Okay.” I threw my hands up and turned to face him. “That’s enough! What are you crying about? I’m standing right here in front of you for heaven’s sakes, so why do you keep howling at me?”
As I looked down in my animal’s eyes, something strange began to happen.
I’m standing right here, in front of you, too, daughter, so why do you keep crying and asking where I am? Why do you keep wandering around looking for me?
Tears filled my eyes as I looked down at my cat. Bear had suddenly grown quiet but sat there looking at me, his eyes wide in wonder. I then noticed how he tugged at my heart without ever making a sound—the same way I had tugged at God’s heart, only I didn’t realize it at the time.
I picked up my pet and rested him over my shoulder. I began stroking his fur. Soon, he was purring, content in my arms.