Kankelfritz is afraid of the vacuum cleaner. When he sees it coming, this grey kitten’s hazel eyes get as big as saucers, and panic sets in. He takes off running, typically to the inside of the hollow leg of our air hockey table. All you can see is his tail sticking out from underneath. He will stay there for hours, even occasionally skipping a meal. The dark, private, secluded space seems safer, so he stays.
So if you ever come to my house and my carpet isn’t freshly vacuumed, I’m not being lazy – I’m doing it for the kittens. Whatever.
There have been times that I forget he is in there. Feeding time rolls around, and only his brother Stank will come running, and then it hits me that I haven’t seen Kankelfritz in a long time.
He was in his hole and I didn’t notice.
I was reading Scripture this morning, in the book of Jeremiah, and in chapter 38, things take a rough turn for Jeremiah. Prophets don’t always get the joy of delivering delightful news; occasionally they have to say some hard things. People got tired of hearing Jeremiah’s words of their upcoming punishment. A group of officials went to the king and explained that Jeremiah was being a bit of a Debbie Downer. He was bringing down the mood of the soldiers and everyone else, and it might be better if he were dead. The king wimped out and agreed to let them do what they needed to, so they put Jeremiah in a deep, muddy pit, and left him there to die.
But somebody noticed.
Ebed-Melech heard about Jeremiah in the hole, and decided he wouldn’t stand for it. He went to the king, and sought justice. He told the king that what happened to Jeremiah was unjust and wicked, and something must be done.
He went to bat for Jeremiah.
The king agreed to save him, and sent Ebed-Melech and 30 other men to do the hard work of getting him out. Thanks to this guy, Jeremiah’s life was saved.
I have been in a hole.
A friend and I were talking the other day and we agreed that sometimes we get comfortable in our holes and don’t want to come out. The blah-ness and isolation and melancholy can begin to feel comfortable, like a warm blanket.
Mine has lasted longer this time than it has in the past. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what shoved me in, but here I sit.
But a friend noticed.
She invited me out for breakfast. She forced me to be social. She knew it was for my own good. She encouraged me. She also reminded me that she has been in the pit before too, and had help getting out. That’s what we do.
I want to be more like my friend, and more like Ebed-Melech. I want to be the one who notices, and does something about it. Join me in praying God will make us more aware of the people around us who could use a hand, and for us to get on with a plan to help get them out.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”