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Evalgelical Lutheran Church in America Northeastern Ohio Synod
Letters from Pastor Alan Smearsoll

May 2018

We have one outdoor cat called “Mama Kitty.”  She was given this name for one very obvious reason J Mama Kitty was a stray cat that stuck around our house in Ashland. She did not want to be touched or let you get anywhere near her. She would keep having kittens and we would continue to put a “free kitten” sign out front to make sure they got to homes who wanted them. When we moved here, we did not want to leave Mama Kitty to fend for herself, but she would not get caught.

At the time of our move, she had just had kittens. I used those kittens to lure her into a box and we had her! She was not a happy camper! Since we were able to catch her, we had her fixed. No more kittens. Mama Kitty still continues to enjoy the outdoors to this day, gradually becoming friendlier.

We have been able to get her into the sunroom on the coldest of winter days in the past, with some struggle. However, this past winter, we brought her in for the duration. Mama Kitty adapted pretty well to the indoor surroundings. She even let us pet her, though we still aren’t allowed to pick her up or rub her belly.
Now, with the weather warming up, it was time for her to go back outside. I opened the sunroom door and she hesitated for a while, then proceeded out the door. The next thing we saw was Mama Kitty making her usual rounds around the house, following the same path as before, checking on her favorite spots to “bird watch” and look for rabbits.

Just out of curiosity, I wondered if she would want to come back in. So, that night, I called her name and she came!  She let me pet her and let me pick her up to bring her in (without too much of a struggle). The second night I called for her several times and here she came, from wherever she was hunting. This time, I opened the door to the sunroom and she went right in! I couldn’t believe my eyes! 

Mama Kitty has been around for at least 11 years now. I would have never thought that she would have mellowed like this. The story of Mama Kitty reminds me of us in many ways. We are very independent people. We fend for ourselves. We protect our own and are skeptical of those who offer help. Much of the time we go through life not fully appreciating the hand who feeds us. Yet that hand keeps feeding, daily.

Our heavenly Father cares for us, even though we often don’t think we need that care. But one day we realize that placing our lives in God’s hands doesn’t hurt. That there is genuine love there, waiting and wanting to hold us, to protect us from the elements (whatever those may be in our lives).

There are many “Mama Kitties” in this world. So many don’t know the real love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It take time. It takes building trust. It takes faith to leap into the arms of Jesus. Do not be discouraged when sharing the Good News with someone who is skeptical. Be patient. Be encouraging. Lead them to trust in the one who feeds us daily.

Pastor Alan


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