Choices
A Tale of Two Cats Question: How could a loving God send someone to hell? I see this question asked several times a week, almost always by atheists and agnostics, occasionally it’s a serious question from a serious person. So, for those occasional few I’ll address it. I could use several examples because it’s a simple explanation. I decided to use cats. Once I had two cats, I got them when they were very young, too young in fact to be away from their mothers. I got  them at different places but both were about the same age. One was a female, an American short hair, white all over except for her tail. I named her Xena. The other, a male, also tiny but with long multicolored hair I named Leroy, after Leroy Brown in the song. I took care of both of them, what one did they both did. When one was by me on the couch the other was there too, when one was in bed with me at night the other was there too. When I played with one, I always played with the other. They were raised in exactly the same way for about a year. This was where the similarity ended. Leroy followed me everywhere, whatever I did he was in the middle of. Since he was too young to be away from His mother he developed the habit of chewing on my finger, this was fine until he grew teeth. Xena, on the other hand always hid behind things, never came out except to eat, would never allow me to pick her up, slept under the bed instead of on it. Growled and hissed sometimes and never wanted to be around anyone. One day, in early summer, I noticed them scratching and decided a bath was called for. Leroy didn’t like it, but since I talked softly to him and didn’t force him he took it well enough, he came away clean and flea free and I had a few gashes in my wrists since it was his first bath. Xena was every bit the disaster I thought it would be. I was gentle with her too, I spoke softly, didn’t force her to do anything. The result was that she still had fleas, was dirty, and I was bloody. Everything I ever tried to do for her she rejected. I gave each of them a bowl of milk as a reward, even though she didn’t deserve it. Leroy sat there lapping his up, happy as he could be. Xena hid under the table. Trying to show her that she was still part of the family, I crawled under the table and took her out. I sat her in front of her bowl and watched. Instead of just drinking her milk, she started growling at me. Ok, this was too much. Fed up, I picked her up, still growling and scratching, and I threw her outside. That was the last time I saw her. This happened two years ago. I have no idea what happened to her and I don’t care. Leroy has grown into a big, furry, cuddly, baby. He tends to get into mischief now and then, he knows he’s not supposed to be on the table but if I’m fast I can catch him up there once in a while. I yell at him and he jumps down. He gets into the trash sometimes and has gotten into the kitchen sink and grabbed a pack of hamburger. But he is with me all the time, when I work on this computer, he is usually sleeping on top of my monitor, his tail falling over it, and usually a foot hanging down. I have to constantly relocate his tail and look around his foot but he is there because he wants to be by me. If I take a nap during the day, Leroy will jump into bed or on the floor, depending on where I am, and lay down beside me. He will stretch and put his paw in my hand. If I wake up 3 hours later, his paw will still be in my hand. The first thing I see in the morning when I wake up is Leroy looking at me. Not because he wants food, but because he wants to be with me. Because of this, I forgive him of anything. I don’t want him turning the trash over, but I can clean it up. I don’t want him jumping into the sink and eating my supper, but I can make something else. Every time he does something wrong, he runs then comes right back to me. I love him and I forgive him because he chooses to be with me. See any parallels here? God doesn’t like sin, but He will forgive it. We gave Him bloody wrists, He forgave us. We break His rules and He forgives us. We’re too weak to follow His rules, but He forgives us and takes our hand any time we extend it. Leroy can break the rules, but I won’t get rid of him or love him less because he chooses me. We can break the rules, we can sin, but God won’t throw us out because we break rules. He won’t like it, but He won’t send us to hell. I’ll get bashed for saying that but its true. The only time He will reject us if we reject Him. Cats are loved but still pets. We’re much, much more than pets to Him, we are His kids. Would a father disown his kids because they broke a rule? A good one wouldn’t and this one won’t. Put in its simplest form: if we accept Him, He will accept us. If we reject Him, He will reject us. Is this really that hard to understand? Not to a parent. Reach out, put your hand in His, you won’t be sorry.
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