When Kaitlyn was about 18 months, I couldn’t find the remote. Other missing items had ended up being located in the toilet, but not this time. I asked her several times where it was, and she held her hands up in the air and say, “I not know, Mama.” Lord help me, but that young’un was sweet. She made you want to pick her up and cuddle her every time you looked at her.
After hours of looking, I finally sat down in exasperation and said,
“Lord, You and You alone know where that remote is. Your Word says a sparrow doesn’t fall that You don’t know it. You know how many hairs are on our heads! You said to ask and we will receive. Well, I’m asking! Please tell me where that remote is! I’m just going to sit here and be quiet and wait for you to tell me.”
After a couple of minutes, I got up from the chair, I walked straight to the love seat, I reached my hand directly behind the cushion, down into the depths of the couch, and I touched that remote. What a boost to my faith!
From that day on, if I couldn’t find something, I’d pray “The Prayer for That Which is Lost” until I found it. Lindsey lost her ring. I lost my purse. Cash. Keys. Homework. You name it, if we couldn’t find it, we prayed. I’m a little obsessive about lost things, so between looking hard and the power of prayer, there haven’t been many things I haven’t been able to find.
Switching gears (I’ll tie it all back together, I promise):
In 1996, we were given a kitten, a beautiful blue eyed boy, white with orange on his face and chest. The kids wanted to name him Jonah. Lindsey was 7, Kaitlyn was 5, and Daniel had just turned 3. He has few memories of life before Jonah.
Since then, I’ve lived in 10 different houses, and Jonah has stayed right with me. That’s remarkable since he was always an outside cat. When I’d bring him in when it was very cold, he wasn’t happy. He’d pace back and forth in front of the door wanting out. Oh the gifts he brought us! Field mice galore! Bunnies (which I found personally upsetting), squirrels, moles, voles, and surely other rodents I’ve blocked from my memory.
When he stopped hunting a couple of years ago, stopped doing anything except sleeping, I brought him in for good. He wasn’t sick, he was just old. Although he was deaf, he could see fine, and he still purred when we held him. Here he is in Kaitlyn’s arms. He was 19, she was 24.
A few weeks ago, he started meowing. A LOT. And pacing back and forth. He’d stop meowing if I held him, so I did. For two days, he meowed and he paced. We had to run some errands, and when we got home, he was nowhere to be found. We searched in every nook and cranny. I called him just in case he could hear me. No sign of him anywhere in the house.
The only thing we can figure is he located the doggie door, made his escape and jumped the fence. We live in the woods on the family farm, so we combed several acres of fields and woods. Every day. Even at night with a flashlight.
I plastered his picture all over social media. Called the animal shelter. Nothing. No real trace of him except the bit of white fur Todd saw towards the pond.
As I walked, I prayed — the “Prayer for That Which is Lost” I started praying when Kaitlyn was a toddler.
“Lord, You know where Jonah is. Not a sparrow falls outside your care. Please let me find him, even if he’s gone on to “kitty heaven”. I want to bury him here on the farm, Lord. I don’t want to keep worrying, keep looking, keep wondering where he is. I need closure.”
This time, no answer has come to my “Prayer for That Which is Lost.” I understand cats like to go off on their own when they know their time is coming. It’s entirely possible that Jonah loved being outside so much that he just didn’t want to die inside. I do wish I could’ve buried him by the pond next to our other cat, Maggie that we lost this year as well. But 19 years is a very long time to keep a kitty, so I’m thankful for what time we had.
(Before anyone gets any bright ideas about giving us a kitten, please don’t! We loved Maggie and Jonah, but my husband is very allergic to cats, and we have two dogs to love on!)
What’s the difference in finding the remote and finding my 19 year old cat? Why would God show me the remote, yet not let me bury my Jonah? I’m SO comfortable with saying, “I just don’t know.”
God isn’t a vending machine. We can’t put our money in and get the same thing every time. Maybe finding Jonah would have hurt me worse. Maybe God was protecting me. Or maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Maybe I just don’t need to know WHY.
I still trust Matthew 10,
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
I hope that my sweet Jonah laid down under a tree, next to an old log in the woods, snuggled into the leaves and fell asleep where he loved it most. It gives me great comfort to know wherever he fell, he wasn’t outside my Father’s care.
Wherever you are, my sweet Jonah, thank you for not running away when Daniel was 3 and used to pick you up by your head. You were so loyal, following us to house after house. Thank you for all the presents you brought us — dead rodents to us, treasures to you. If there are kitties in heaven, we hope you’re running through fields and chasing mice. We will never forget you and will always love you. You were a good boy.