Our church is doing a series of Advent devotions on words that reflect facets of the Advent and Christmas season. I wrote this one on the word “rescue.”
When I signed up for this word I was thinking about our granddaughter Olivia and the cat rescue organization she started last year. She named her rescue operation “Little Boo Rescue of Ohio” in honor of “Boo,” one of the first kittens she rescued who unfortunately was too sick to be saved.
The three cuties pictured here are Cherry, Mango and Honeydew. They along with their siblings, Apple and Bianca were near death when rescued, but thanks to a lot of TLC and excellent medical care all five are healthy again and looking for their forever homes. Olivia has always had a huge heart for our four-legged friends, and we are very proud of the work she and her colleagues are doing, all of which is over and above their full-time jobs.
Their rescue work often requires responding to calls from someone with a feral cat problem. She and her friends respond by going out in the dark to capture cats so they can be neutered, vaccinated, and nursed back to health. They are then either adopted or sent to foster homes. It is a true labor of love.
Such caring work reminds me of Jesus’ story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to go searching for the one lost stray. We are all that lost one at some time in our lives, and we run and hide from God all too often. But God never gives up and will be there to cuddle us back to health whenever we admit we need to be rescued.
We’ve all heard the joke about how hard it is to herd cats, and if she could I’m sure Olivia would transform herself into a cat so the lost ones would trust her and be easier to rescue. And that’s exactly what God did for us in the human baby born in Bethlehem so long ago. The incarnation means that God is with us no matter how many times we need to be rescued.