Yesterday was Christmas, and I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas Celebration.
Our traditional Christmas morning was disrupted when we realized that one of the cats was missing. Just as we sat down to open presents, Espresso walked into the room, and I realized I had not seen Mocha all morning. I asked if anyone had seen her, and we all realized that we hadn't. We did a walk through the house figuring we would find her, but when we hadn't, we all started trying to remember when she had been seen last. She had laid on Josh's chest when he went to bed at 1AM.
Mocha is the cat who loves to rush out the door whenever it is opened. On Christmas morning at about 3 AM, one of the dogs woke me, whimpering because he needed to go outside. I grumbled something about it being 3 o'clock in the morning, but then rational thought took over and I decided I would rather get out of bed for a few minutes at 3AM than find a mess in the morning.
I walked through the house in the dark and opened the door enough for the dogs to get out, stuck my head out the door and told them to hurry and waited for them to return. They did, rather quickly as I expected they would, and I let them back in the house. I don't know when the cat ran out the door, but we figured out that it had be at one of those two times the door was opened. I am pretty certain she ran between my legs and out the door while I was telling the dogs to hurry up... that was the only time I wasn't looking at the open door.
Once we realized the cat had probably escaped and had been outside for the better part of 6 hours, a search for the cat ensued. Coats and hats were donned and the back yard was searched, our neighbor's yard was searched. We looked in all of her usual "hiding" places and could not find her anywhere. It is important to know that our cats are all indoor cats, they generally do not spend time outdoors, and when they do, they are supervised. Their front paws are declawed so they are vulnerable in a cat fight with another animal. They are kept in our yard under watchful eyes.
Mocha was not found anywhere in our yard, nor in the yards of our adjacent neighbors. We expanded the search, several blocks were covered in vehicles, shaking the "treat container" out the window as everyone searched. After more than an hour of searching with no sign of Mocha, tears began flowing. Would we ever find her?
After nearly two hours of searching, I made up some flyers to stick in doors around the neighborhood, hoping someone had taken her in. My 15 year old son was placing a flyer in a neighbors door five houses down from us, when he heard a faint "meow", and he started poking around in their bushes. He found her cowering under an evergreen. She felt trapped. She wasn't, Jonathon pulled her right out, but she didn't think she could move for the bush branches upon her back. He hollered, "I found her", and my 11 year old started screaming in delight... Of course her screams startled the rest of us, thinking she had found the cat hurt or something... But she was found.
When she was brought in, there was a flurry of activity, someone was sent to get a blanket to warm her up, someone else volunteered to retrieve some food. She was held, cuddled, and altogether doted over for at least half an hour. The other cats and even the dogs came and greeted her. She had been missed, and everyone wanted her to know that they cared.
The life lessons learned were many. When someone or something is loved, it is worth dropping everything and searching for it when it is lost. Nothing was more important than finding Mocha, including every kids' favorite Christmas morning activity, opening Christmas Presents. Not one of the kids even thought about the fact that it was Christmas morning. None of them even flinched when I said, "We need to leave for PawPaw's house, we are already going to be late getting there. I think we'll have to open presents later."
We are that precious to our Savior, Jesus Christ. He left paradise... He literally left Heaven and voluntarily came to this earth, assumed the form of a dependent baby, grew up, just like you and I did. He experienced life just like you and I have. He had disappointments, he had joys. I am sure he lost something precious to him, even if only for a few hours... We have all experienced that at one time or another.
I am very grateful that we found Mocha, safe and well. She was Scared and Cold, and Hungry, but those were quickly remedied. The JOY that existed in my home when she was brought in was incredible. The bible tells us that angels rejoice when someone comes to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When the lost are found, there is rejoicing.
I pray today that I can be used by God to be one who helps someone lost and lonely find joy and peace in the Salvation of Jesus... That is my post-Christmas, Christmas wish...
Until His Work in me is Complete...