Pet owners understand something that people without pets cannot understand – our pets literally become part of the family. So when a precious pet goes missing it’s quite traumatic for the family and particularly that member of the family that most identifies with the animal (Tim’s Bambi likes to stress everyone out by charging through any open door and bolting like a convict during a prison break – but we always find him wandering blindly and aimlessly two doors down). The Klotz family has been believing God for the safe return of Max (Maximus Decimus Meridius) from “gladiator” fame who, as I understand it, has been missing for a couple of weeks. Having been raised with an adventurous tabby colored tom cat, I knew when I heard about Max (and saw his feline wanted posters all over the neighborhood) that he was probably out trying to sharpen his fighting skills and conquer the south end of the city of Murray.
Max made his way home today to the delight of a very appreciative family (and a certain man of the house). I felt the same way when Tiger returned home after weeks and weeks of prowling around. I remember looking every night for Tiger to show up. I always thought he was alright but I could never be sure. Then one day he came prancing up the driveway, apparently laying waste to every rival cat in town that would dare challenge him (neighbors would tell me later that my cat was a bully to the other cats in the neighborhood – I can’t help it if they raised wimpy cats).
Following the Max saga reminds me of how the Father feels when one of his kids goes missing. The story of the Prodigal Son reveals the heart of God that longs for the return of his child. The return of a family pet pales in comparison to the exuberance and pleasure it brings the Lord when we get tired of catting around and return home where we belong, but thanks Max for reminding us of the Father’s love.