Have you ever thought about the difference between how a cat and a dog greets you?

Dogs wear their hearts on their little puppy sleeves. They are so transparent. You are gone all day and they do the ‘puppy glad you are home dance’. This includes jumping and licking and racing about excitedly. But have you ever noticed it is the same dance if you walked outside to get the mail? Dogs do not hide what they feel. You know they are rejoicing at your return.

Cats, on the other hand, are a great deal more subtle. Have you been gone all day? Well, it’s about time you got back here…harrumph! Have you been gone a week on a much deserved vacation but left the feline with only someone stopping in to fill the food bowl and check the water dish? How dare you! Instead of jumping for joy at your return, they pout.

My Shadow would sit half way up the stairs and glare at me over his shoulder as if to say, accusingly, “You were gone!” After the initial scolding with the eyes, they do come around. In fact they become practically Velcro for the next few days. I think this is to be sure we don’t suddenly leave again.

Case in point. Some of you know I recently did a stint in a rehab facility. When I finally got home there was plenty of ‘eye darts’ being thrown my way for obviously neglecting them as I did. (They had no way of knowing my main concern while gone was their welfare!)

But once that was done, they came around. I awoke a few mornings later to find five of them sleeping on my bed.

So why tell you all of this? I am trying to tell you how much God loves you and that Jesus wants to be in fellowship with you.

The story of the lost sheep and the lost coin both end with similar lines: “…I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) Can’t you almost imagine the angels dancing about when one of us repents with the same exuberance as a dog whose master has just returned?

When a friend of mine passed away and I was asked to do his service I thought about his hobby. He raised, trained, and showed German Shepherds. I realized that obedience commands were much like our relationship to God and spoke about it at his funeral service. “Heel” – walk by God’s side. “Sit and Stay” – abide in His presence. “Come” – both to salvation and to Him when our life’s journey is ended.

Since I have been home I have had at least two kitty nurse maids with me at all times. (In fact one of them is sitting on my hand as I type this! Not an easy task but I got through.) In their quiet way they are rejoicing and saying how glad they are I have come home.

“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents….” (Luke 15:7)

Susan A. Perkins, retired Pastor, Values for Living, Pickaway County Ministerial Association wrote this column to be published in The Circleville Herald.

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