In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10
Meet Jingle Belle, our Christmas miracle kitten. Unless she turns out to be a boy. Then we’ll change the fancy spelling to just plain Bell, but that won’t change the miracle part of this story.
It was already cold and rainy last Wednesday evening when the electricity went out, plunging our house into darkness and quiet. No TV in the living room or power tools in the basement. No Christmas music, no twinkling lights on the tree, no sewing machine so I could finish the projects that will hopefully be ready by Christmas morning. In other words, no distractions. Only the still, small voice of the Lord telling me it was time to write the letter.
The letter had been on my mind for six months, ever since we left Ohio to return to Peru in June. It was meant for an elderly friend we had grown to love during our time in the States. He was fighting cancer at the time, and just last week I found out that his treatments are no longer working. From the many conversations we had last year, I knew that “Grandpa Jim” is facing eternity without God. So, without the distractions that come with something as commonplace as electricity, I had two hours of quiet and candlelight and God’s presence to write the letter.
Sometime during those two hours of peaceful quiet, little Jingle Belle wandered from her place of safety into the dark and cold backyard. Wandi, the older and gentler of our two dogs, fancies herself to be a cat nanny of sorts, so I imagine that when Wandi saw Jingle in the wet darkness, she did what any animal mother would do and picked the kitty up in her mouth to take it back to her warm box. Wandi is extremely careful with babies and has successfully “raised” four other kittens, but our younger dog hasn’t quite learned the same skills. Somehow, between the two dogs and the rain, little Jingle was left soaking wet and in a state of hypothermia when Luis found her and hour or so later.
There were tears and warm towels and hot rice bags, but Jingle’s little body was frozen stiff, her eyes were open and unblinking, and she was barely breathing. I’ve never seen a little pet in this state pull through, but not wanting her to die alone, I wrapped Jingle up and held her on my lap while I finished writing the letter. The kids both came in to kiss Jingle’s little head and say goodbye, and Danny prayed from his heart, asking God to either heal the kitten or to let her go quickly and in peace.
Everything happened within the next two minutes: I finished the letter, the electricity came back on, and Jingle Belle woke up. But it wasn’t just the groggy awakening of an injured pet when it finally starts to mend. Jingle’s wet and matted fur was perfectly dry and fluffy, her blinking blues eyes were clear and shining, she crawled out of the towel and immediately started batting at my nose!
I believe it was no coincidence that God did this miracle for a kitten at the very moment that I finished the letter to our dear friend. If the Creator cares for even the tiniest of his creatures, how much more does he love a human being – a person made in his own image, with an eternal soul that was designed to spend the rest of forever with God himself?
Ever since last Wednesday, whenever we see our Christmas Miracle Kitten skipping through the backyard, batting her sassy paws at the dogs’ noses, we’re reminded to pray for “Grandpa Jim.” We don’t know what choice he will make, but we do know that God loves him more than any of us can even imagine. So we will continue to come to God, asking for a Christmas Miracle on a much grander scale than what he did for our kitten.