Love moves from mountaintop to valley, blink of an eye (pt4)

by Craig on May 3, 2011

This morning Laska the love kitty was all out of sorts.

We live in a one bedroom apartment now and he likes getting outside.

He’s got a set of “walk” chronicles he’s currently working on for you guys.

So, since we’re outside where nasty fleas and ticks live, I got some flea stuff.

I bared his skin at the base of his neck, and put a blob where he couldn’t lick it off. He was upset, neither liking being pinned down to apply the stuff, nor having it on him.

This morning he was hidden. I opened up the windows so he could hear the birds and watch the dawn. This usually brings out the wild ocelot in him as he races from bedroom window to sliding porch door:

His top is made of rubber,

His bottom made of spring

He’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy.

 

fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.

But this pre-dawn he was quiet. He clearly hadn’t slept – but wanted to. He wanted to be near me – but was jittery. So I grabbed him and laid him beside me as I wrote this.

And this brings me back to part 4 of mountaintop to valley.

After walking through Lent, contemplating the Cross for the 40 days, I was all filled up – until Easter. Doubt overshadowed me, and energy and positive emotion ebbed all the way out, leaving a dried up tide pool. (that’s here and here)

I remembered the story of Elijah and how this happened to him, and got really helpful wisdom from you guys. (here)

I was feeling like Laska’s feeling now.

Back then, a “normal” Laska the love kitty did his version of what I have just done with him.

He bounced and trounced over, settled down, and curled up next to me.

With all the heaviness I was feeling, my face in his tummy fur seemed like a perfect solution. So I lay my head down next to him, and nuzzled in warm “love kitty” goodness.

And he put his paw, no claws, like a butterfly lighting on a flower, on. my. nose.

I was still all dreary – but the love kitty helped bring a smile.

Then there was a noise I couldn’t hear, but he could.

His paw moved to my cheek and pressed down hard.

And he raised his head over my shoulder and stared intently, so focused, and determined and tough – at nothing.

There was nothing there.

I know,

I was the only one besides him in the room.

Rigid and haunched up like he was facing down a dog. Laska glared over my shoulder, keeping one paw on my head, as if to hold it in place, for more than a minute – at nothing.

I remembered my morning prayer when I had chatted with Our Lord about “protect us from the Evil One”. I had discussed the existence of the Evil One and his minions – but stopped short of the “protect me” part.

I finished that prayer right then, asking, if there were something I couldn’t see or sense, that Laska could – that it be gone.

And suddenly I felt better – can’t explain it.

Suddenly Laska did too.

He relaxed and circled and plopped down beside me.

He seemed proud.

I felt calm.

He went to sleep.

Was something there, something that stirred him up?

Was the paw on my face his way of holding my head down and saying “I got this one.”?

Was that something that was there – then gone – something oppressive and not from “here”?

“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (EPH 6:12)

Any thoughts?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

jackie May 3, 2011 at 10:05 am

Interesting. My first thought was of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia… I’ve been re-reading John Eldredge’s “Waking the Dead”, and the first few chapters deal with the fact that we are at war, a spiritual war in this fallen and broken world. It has helped me shift my thinking about the dark periods in my life.
I have to clear a space in my schedule for reading your blog – there is so much good stuff here…

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Craig May 3, 2011 at 11:50 am

Laska the love kitty is an Aslan – except a little more scared of his shadow. :) And thank you for those gracious words Jackie – just thank you – I heart them. God Bless you.

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Dawn May 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

Dear Craig,

My dogs are way ahead of me in sensing some dangers and I heed their warnings. At other times, however, I have to be there for them (speeding cars is one example). I am certain that I deal daily with principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness here on earth who are in cahoots with the evil spirits in heaven. It is not subtle, either. As one has experiences with such forces, you become more sensitized, especially if you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you.

More and more I am looking beyond what I can see to what I cannot see as the source of the issues facing me personally and the world at large. Also, more and more I rest my case at the throne of God. He says, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace that you may obtain mercy and have grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) I do. Alone, I am no match for the unseen.

Woofing comfort to Laska from the dogs. They understand, they just got their flea and tick medicine rubbed into their backs!
Dawn

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Craig May 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

I get a little careful when I write of spiritual warfare – I know some people aren’t into those thoughts. But it’s pretty clear from Scripture – it’s going on.

And isn’t that interesting that the book of Hebrews would include both the OT word Mercy and the NT word Grace – hmmmmm. I learn again. Heart that!

A reminder that yours are the only dogs Laska hearts – I think the thing is the dogs can’t reach their backs – and unless you put it on the perfect spot for a kitty – they can reach it – and try to lick it off – and that can’t be good. Next time I’m finding the flea collar – better that he have to wear a collar for a few months than to have to go through this every month. Poor Laska. ^.^

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Cora May 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

So glad you have Laska!!!! I just know all those feelings and emotions that you go through when you love them and they love you. Good and horrible all mixed into one big love story.
Here’s my thoughts: 1. Sometimes, the flea protection stuff will make a cat a little “sicky” for a day or two. Add a little “crabby” in the mix, and sometimes, a little “throw up.” The last is always in the wrong place. 2. He’s eating up the attention, that’s for sure. Who wouldn’t play sick if you get nuzzled on your belly like that???? And nose pats? He KNOWS he’s safe and he loves the giver of safety. 3. I don’t know how, but cats seem to have a sense of hearing that is beyond that of us humans and even dogs. I know Buster (my overgrown ofe of a chocolate lab) sleeps through everything. He ‘s not much of a protector. But when I had a cat, he would hear things in the silence. I wondered if he “felt” it even before hearing it. Ears would go up and he would freeze (and so would I). Maybe it’s why cats are “creepy” to some people. I’m with you on this one, Craig. I just think they can sense danger, intrusions, a presence, etc., long before we do. There is nothing like the peace when we pray and trust, is there! I can’t say for sure, but maybe Laska felt your peace, or you felt his, and in the presence of the God of all Peace, darkness flees. Beautiful post today, Craig. It made me hug Buster, but all he did was sigh and go back to sleep!

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Craig May 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Hmmmm. I actually do think he saw something – Froofy, his predecessor also “saw” things – and prayer had a pretty quick effect on him. Thank you for the flea goop advice – I’ll give him a day or two – no moor flea goop – it’s the collar for the spring and summer – grrrrrrrr flea goop. I’m emailing hartz!!!! Thank you Cora – and God bless you – and Buster.

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A. May 3, 2011 at 11:20 am

that there are both principalities and dark things out there as well as angels watching over us gives plenty of fodder for hypersensitve cats. I don’t know how it all works, for sure, but cats do sense things before I do, most often. Once in a rare while I can sneak up on one and then it nearly launches and I have a good, though guilty, laugh. :) I really do love cats. And if I ever met Laska, i wouldn’t do the sneak thing. :)

thanks, Craig, for this reminder that things are beyond just hunans sometimes; there ARE principalities and powers and evil spirits. That changes my prayers today and removes my focus from places it maybe shouldn’t be.

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Craig May 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm

A – tired typing fingers – and sleepy brain prevent a longer response – so just thank you – I know you get it – I heart that. God bless.

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Kristin May 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I believe there is a battle going on every day that we can’t see, but sometimes I’m like your cat, I think I can even feel it. My husband too. When our son left 5 years ago, a prodigal, my husband and I hit the floor on our knees every week praying for God to fight this battle that we could not see, or to help us fight it. Tuesdays for Tim began, a day every week for intense prayer and fasting. Our son is coming back step by step:)
And our other son has grown so much from this experience. There was a night several years back in our younger son’s room where he was so unhappy because his brother was gone that the enemy was putting dark thoughts into his head. Our son had been taught to pray and go to the Lord at all times, and thankfully he did this night. He said God spoke to him, and our son gave all his troubles over to the Lord. Our son then said as soon as he surrenedered the troubles over, a real peace came over him and he has grown so much and into a wonderful, strong christian young man, now 18. I think a battle was going on that night and the good side won:)
Yes, I believe there are battles and darkness all around us but thankfully we have the General on our side and we need to grab hold of that righteous right hand of His and hold on.
I know I’m not letting go! :)
I hope this somewhat answered your question…you did ask a question didn’t you:)
Or did I just ramble…I can do that sometimes.

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Craig May 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Your comment was letter perfect. I asked a question – no doubt. There was an oppression, a depression, a love kitty who saw something and stared it down – then a prayer – then a peace for Laska and me. I thank you for your story of your two sons. The love of a praying family – it stills my heart and makes it pound. God bless you and your hubs – and your boys. And thank you Kristin, thank you.

Sorry it took so long to respond – but Laska the love kitty had a severe turn for the worst today – severe. Anyway – thank you again so much. God bless.

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Kristin May 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Oh my, is Laska sick?

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

He’s ok now – I posted about it today – thank you – really thank you for caring. It was touch and go yesterday – all because of hartz flea drops. And I linked with Ann Voskamp ans “walk with him wednesday” – the topic is Resurrection – I wasn’t going to write about it at all – but he almost died – and – well – the resurrection theme hit closer to home than I’d have liked.

Again thank you so much – it was nice of you to ask about him. God bless you!!

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Nicol May 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hi Craig,
You inspire me to be a cat-lover…and I have not really ever taken to cats. Maybe I am just taken with Laska. Maybe I am just taken with how YOU are taken with Laska! Anyways, I do enjoy hearing about her (?) tails and yours…. on a more serious note…of course, it is real; it is in the bible right? Sometimes I wonder when we view Him in heaven, the angels and everything else so full of splendor the INTENSITY which we will think, “Why did I not really consider that THIS was all so real?” Because of our humanness I suppose. But thankfully now we do have eyes of FAITH.
And thank you for the reminder of PRAYER- our offensive and defensive weapon.

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

First – Laska is a him. I’m sure he’d appreciate the (?) ^.^

And Nicol – this was a stunningly special thought – “Sometimes I wonder when we view Him in heaven, the angels and everything else so full of splendor the INTENSITY which we will think, “Why did I not really consider that THIS was all so real?” Amen – we have eyes of faith – so true – if only I’d use them more – and see better. Nicol – it is a joy when I know you have read – means the world. God bless you!

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Debbie May 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

Praying that Laska is okay. Any you too. I give our kitties Frontline. I tried the flea collars, but the vet said they weren’t recommended anymore and felt it cause ours to have seizures. So . . .I stopped the collars. Praying you find what works safely for Laska.
Craig, I understand what you are saying and you being careful about what you say. I believe that there is definitely spiritual warfare going on. And that I need to pray more accordingly. Just saying. :) Thank you and God bless you and your discerning kitty.

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

I’ve used flea collars on every cat so far (3 before Laska) and no problems. But I was warned against them – as you were – only to have the drops nearly kill him.

Dealing with a little anger and bitterness with Hartz right now – need to simmer a little. Anyway – thank you as always Deb – and God bless you and yours.

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Debra May 4, 2011 at 12:28 am

Laska the love kitty is clearly a gift from God. And His creatures, I believe, are often more attuned to the unseen than we humans are. This story fits right in with my most recent post, Messengers. I hope you’ll swing by and introduce my readers to the one and only Laska the love kitty!
Indeed there are invisible forces out there seeking to upset our peace and destroy our joy. My daughter Abigail was up all night in pain (and of course I was too, right along with her). Early this morning just before the crack of dawn I spotted my cat in the yard, and for some reason I knew he needed me too. So when I went out to pet him my strength was suddenly and unexplainably renewed. Amazing how these creatures lift our spirits even in the darkest of hours.

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

just read messengers – you are right. :)

And amen amen – these animals – family they become – and they elicit joy and love – I heart that story Debra – HEART it. God bless you.

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Amber May 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

I have def. thought about this, especially when it was just me and my cat, Vagus. Spiritual warfare is VERY real and this is a post that makes you think about its reality.

Nice photos of Laska!!!

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

First the photos – just point and shoot – not like you – but thank you – coming from you that’s high praise. So really – thank you.

Second, why don’t we (read me) just keep our (read my) eyes focused on the spiritual right alongside the material – everything is different that way – so why – grrrrrrrr – just why. Anyway thank you Amber – and as always God bless you and your hubs and your uber-healthy baby.

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Miz Liz May 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Happy Laska revived (pt 2); so wise to listen to our pets–and learn.
Yes, we probably should focus/talk/write more about Jesus and His Holy Spirit and our Father than the evil that is absolutely here among us….but Jesus Himself taught us to pray against it. Sometimes we even must talk/write against it. Thank you for your wisdom, Craig.

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Craig May 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I totally get that point Liz – we can pay too much attention to the evil among us – or we can totally disregard it and let it operate in secret – like everything else – I’m sure there’s a balance. I heart your wisdom too Liz. I’m always learning from you. God bless.

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