Cheryl (not her real name) had between 70-80 cats in her house. Most, but not all, were alive. You could taste the stench of that house over a block away. When we heard that Cheryl had gotten arrested for code violations and that the city was on its way to euthanize the animals, we went in with a crew to rescue as many cats as we could. When I first walked inside the house to help with the rescue, I barely made in ten feet before I gagged, ran back outside and explained my lunch to the grass. The sight and smell was unimaginable, feces on the floor six inches thick in some places, dead cats in closets, behind furniture, and in the bathtub and the windows so clouded with a toxic film that daylight barely made it through. Skipping to the end of a very bizarre story wherein one of the rescuers actually lost her life, Cheryl cried over the loss of her cats and vowed to get them back. Seriously, Cheryl? After everything that took place, after the nightmare of the rescue and the loss of life and the literal demolition of her home, she didn’t get it. I wanted to ask her, “When you started down this path of yours, did you ever think that it would get this weird?” but she didn’t see that things had gotten weird and no one could convince her.
We know people who are members of a cult. They don’t believe that it’s a cult. They can’t imagine it being a cult. They don’t want to know that it’s a cult and if you try to explain it to them, they will collectively rise up against you, demonize you and you will forever be considered a spiritual and very real physical enemy. How dare you question their righteous superiority. They believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They believe that they and only they are the true blood heirs to whatever in eternity. Forget the Jews, they are the chosen people of god, whatever god it is they serve, by whatever name they have chosen to call him. Yeah, it’s a cult alright. I don’t care enough to smack that hive of bees but if I did, I’d ask any one of them, “When you started down this path of yours, did you ever think that it would get this weird?” Trust me, they are weird.
Proverbs 14:12 (KJV)
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Look at the world we live in today and then look over your shoulder to what life was like a mere decade ago. The choices that society made along the way brought us from the suburbs to the very heart of Babylon where even a silent disapproval is considered a hate crime punishable by a prison sentence. We fiercely resisted the downward spiral for a very long time and eventually gave up on that struggle and moved as far away as we could, hoping to avoid the inevitable fire and brimstone. To those who stuck their finger in God’s eye, I’d like to ask, “When you started down this path of yours, did you ever think that it would get this weird?”
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
Let me bring this home. We currently have thirty five cats (or was that two hundred forty seven?) in our care and we are down to one dog (for now). When we started down this path did we ever think it would get this weird? Trust me, we ask that question everyday. We examine our path everyday. We resist weird daily, in ourselves and in others.
Oliver was kicked down a flight of stairs more than once, he was locked in the basement and intentionally starved. He was thrown out into the cold with no shelter, food or water. He survived by eating dead things. His life, his well-being was sacrificed for the sins of others. No, I never thought it would get this weird. I can’t imagine how people would do such a thing to an innocent creature. We opened our home to Oliver and under the threat of violent retribution we vowed to protect him. We put him back together physically and emotionally and then we found a very loving couple who will care for him for the rest of his life. He deserves to be loved. What does his abuser deserve? Should we have turned our backs on Oliver? Oliver is but one of hundreds of others we have encountered with similar stories.
The torture and the abuse that we have witnessed, no, when we started down this path we never imagined that it would get this weird. Never in a million years. We never imagined that the need would be so great. We couldn’t have possibly imagined the forces that would oppose us for doing the right thing nor could we imagine that we would find such a supportive community, a veritable army (you) that would rise up on our behalf. We never imagined that wave upon wave of the desperate little ones would somehow find their way to our doorstep. No, we could not have imagined that things would ever get this weird but here we are.
Is thirty five cats is too many? It is for two or three people but not when those thirty five cats are being cared for by a community.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Go do good stuff. Just don’t let it get weird.