The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.~Psalm 145:18 NIV
WHAT’S THAT NOISE?
Something was lost under the house. I could feel it.
“Do you hear that?”
“Hear what?” my husband asked.
“It almost sounds like a cat. Like it’s under the house, right below my chair.”
“There’s nothing down there. You’re hearing things.”
“I just heard it again. I’m telling you, there’s something under the house.”
We grabbed a couple of flashlights and pulled the skirting back on the side of the house. David shined the light all around.
“There’s nothing under here,” he said as the beam moved back and forth.
“Stop. Listen,” I whispered. “Turn the light off and listen. It’s coming from over there.”
Sure enough, we both heard the distressed meow of a cat.
“Do you think it’s Scruffy? We haven’t seen her in a few days.”
My husband responded confidently, “I highly doubt it. She’s five years old. Why would she be under the house acting lost and scared? Something ate her, the way she rambles in the woods. This is probably a kitten or something.”
We followed the meowing sounds, my husband under the house and me on the outside. As we got closer, the distressed cat grew louder.
“I see something,” my husband said.
We both moved closer.
I pulled the skirting back on the end of the house and shined my light right into the big-eyed face of the cat. “Scruffy? What in the world are you doing under there?”
RESTORING OUR BELOVED KITTY
I reached out and picked up the terrified cat. Her stomach appeared sunken in, her heart rate was elevated, and her pupils were dilated. She must not have seen sunlight in days.
Scruffy came inside with us as we calmed her down and gave her food. The only logical explanation seemed to be that a critter of some kind got after Scruffy, and she sought refuge under the house. But why she didn’t come out is beyond any of our ponderings.
As we said goodbye to Scruffy this weekend, after eighteen years, this story came to mind. What’s crazy is this was not an isolated event. Three times we had to crawl under the house to retrieve her.
CHOOSING FREEDOM AND FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD’S ENABLEMENT
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.~ Psalm 25:5 NIV
The incident made me think about real life and how we are so quick to shut down and isolate ourselves when hard situations come our way. When I speak at Honey Lake Clinic, one of the top indicators of depression that folks share is isolation. In my own life, when the world seems to crash on me from all sides, the last place I want to be is in a crowd of people—even people I know and love. Controlling my emotions seems too hard. Navigating the long list of social rules is overwhelming. And isolation is the natural response.
The problem with long-term isolation is that we become like Scruffy—lost in our own house. Rambling around with unhealthy thoughts that lead us to false conclusions and leave us confused, fearful, and afraid to come out of our dark space.
CALL OUT TO GOD WHO RESCUES
If Scruffy had recognized she had isolated herself, she could have come out, found us, and received consolation. The same goes for us. If we quickly recognize the signs of hiding and isolation, we can emerge, reach out to our loved ones, be encouraged and comforted, and bring those overwhelming thoughts into the light.
Isolation is a scary place to stay. Jeremiah the prophet said, “The heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV),” and the apostle Paul instructed us to “take captive every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).” Our emotions and thoughts–when stuck inside our heads and never said out loud–lead to crazy, irrational conclusions. We can’t trust them.
Are you lost in your head? Are you content in isolation? If so, you’re missing out on a world of truth and relationships. Call a friend. Reach out to God. Come out of hiding. Gone is the critter. No reason to stay under the house any longer.
Are you reaching out to others, and diving into God’s Word when life hits?
Father God, life is hard sometimes, and all I want to do is pull away. Please help me reach out to others and say the thoughts out loud that are holding me hostage. Show me a better way. Amen.
Copyright 2022: Lost Under the House: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved