Saturday, August 13, 2011

From the Office of Ranchland Security

We’ve got a young grey tabby named Smokey, which is short for Holy-smokes-what-a-holy-terror! Smokey can be the sweetest, cuddliest, most endearing cat ever. Moments later, he can morph into the orneriest, most troublesome little terrorist this side of Yemen.
Despite his unpredictable temperament, Smokey’s cuteness and charm has completely stolen our hearts. Hubby and I dote on his every whim, which may be a different flavor of cat food each time he’s fed, a spoonful of Hubby’s morning yogurt, a broken-up dog biscuit, or fresh water from the tap. He’ll ask politely with a purr to be let outdoors at 3 a.m., but if we ignore him, he’ll bite whatever shoulder or leg that he can find sticking out of the covers.
Hubby and I go to great lengths to ensure Smokey’s welfare. We’ve been known to tramp around with a flashlight around the pond or barnyard on a frigid winter’s night, calling his name with more and more concern because we worry about coyotes and owls.  Meanwhile, the little scoundrel, whose night vision is much better than ours, is happily playing hide-and-go-seek.
On one such safari, Hubby was searching near the haystack. Suddenly he was attacked by a wild beast which threw itself onto the back of his legs, viciously digging its claws into him. Hubby spooked up in the air pretty good, but before he came down, he apprehended his assailant by the scruff of the neck. The offending party turned out to be none other than the outlaw Smokey the Kid, so he was promptly taken into custody.
Our poor dogs can’t figure out why we put up with that renegade. Unlike them, he doesn’t herd cows, guard goats, or safeguard the sofa. The dogs certainly don’t stalk us for sport, play in the spice cabinet, or repeatedly bang cupboard doors in the middle of the night. They know they’d never get away with hiding in the closet and biting us when we reached for our clothes, or knocking glasses and oatmeal cartons off the kitchen counters. Dogs have been sent to the pound for lesser crimes than that!
I guess Smokey doesn’t get what’s coming to him because he’s so incredibly cute—big ears, big eyes, adorable stripes all over—not to mention entertaining! I myself am not particularly cute or entertaining—and I’m totally stripeless—but I too am the recipient of unmerited mercy, liberal grace, and astonishing love.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
      not easily angered, he's rich in love.
   He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
      nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
                                                             PSALM 103:8, 10 (MSG)

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