If Jesus came back as a cat
Most Christians, whether we consciously think about it day-to-day, wait for the second coming of Christ. What will it be like? Collin Raye's song "What if Jesus came back like that?" is one of my favorite songs, because it reminds me that Jesus was a revolutionary who came into the world in humble, reviled circumstances: born to an unmarried woman, living in exile soon after birth. He lived in Nazareth, an area that was looked down upon by most of the residents of the surrounding area.
So, what if Jesus came back as a cat? It's not that great a stretch; after all, cats are God's creations too. He wouldn't come back as a pampered pet. How could He change the world if His every whim was catered to already?
No, He would come back as a stray. His mother would be hungry, thrown out of someone's moving vehicle, walking the streets, pregnant already with Him, probably a kitten herself just under a year old. He would be born in an alley, under a bridge, in a culvert, or behind a dumpster. Neighbors would hear Him mewling, but turn a deaf ear. Someone might throw a few scraps His way as He got old enough to eat on his own. He would spend nights going from door to door looking for a handout or eating garbage.
He would form friendships with other cats: strays, ferals (wild cats), others who were distrusting of humans and some who trusted on a conditional level. They would band together and follow Him because He was born a leader. They would travel from house to house, at night, picking through leftovers and accepting the occasional handout.
Then, one night, He would find the house of a kind soul who fed cats. He would tell the other cats who followed Him about this source of plenty, and they would come. Night after night, they all would gather at the food, petty arguments put aside, welcoming the chance to fill their stomachs and relax.
He would live a short life: three or four years, probably. Then He would be shot by an uncaring human neighbor, or eaten by a dog, or run over by a car. Maybe He would be trapped and taken to a shelter, only to be euthanized because no one claimed Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 25,"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Who are the strays in our lives? Who are the ferals, the wild ones who don't trust others enough to let their vulnerabilities be shown?
The person at the grocery store is counting out pennies to pay for their two purchases. In line behind them, you tap your foot as you wait to buy your 12 items with a credit card or from your bank account. Would offering a dollar or two be too much to ask?
A homeless person sits down the block from a fast food place, with a sign and a cup. Why not ask them if they would like a cup of coffee or a hamburger? Buy it for them, fixed the way they want.
Your neighbor's grass is getting tall, and you know that they live alone. As you go to start the mower for your own yard, why not knock on their door and offer to mow the lawn for them as well?
Driving along a busy street, you see someone walking with a gas can. Are you able to give them a ride to the station or back to their car? Would it make a difference if it was a man alone or a woman with a child?
We all make a difference in someone else's life every day. Is it a positive one or a negative? Maybe the person you talked with on the bus or at the coffee shop was having a bad day. Did you brighten their day, or were you rude to them? Did you even acknowledge them with so much as a nod or a smile?
"Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."