Never lose hope

My son and his wife, along with her family, live in Charleston, S.C. We always enjoy spending time with all of them when we get the chance. I was saddened some months ago when my son called to say his in-laws had lost their pet cat, Urban. He’s a good cat, content to live in the house and be social as needed. He is, of course, loved by his owners. They moved to South Carolina from Ohio and return there frequently to spend time with family and friends. Urban always makes the trip with them. On their last trip, sadly, Urban escaped through the back of their SUV. They weren’t sure when he had jumped out but turned the vehicle around and backtracked to see if they could find him. After a long search, they finally had to give up looking and return to Charleston. It was heartbreaking to hear this news; I knew they would do anything to find him. I said a quick prayer to St. Anthony and told my son to let them know miracles do happen. I knew they couldn’t give up hope, and just maybe this would have a happy ending.

Finding our way in life can feel difficult at times, leaving us feeling lonely and lost, just like Urban felt, I’m sure, when he was wandering around in a strange place. We lose our confidence and have a hard time communicating. But we know the hand of God is always there to guide us, comfort us and gently get us back to where we belong. The path that leads back to God, no matter how far we stray, how distant we become or how disconnected we may feel from God, is where we find our hope. I kept thinking Urban was a smart cat, and he probably never lost hope his owners would somehow find him.

Having faith in God doesn’t mean we will be spared from life’s difficulties. But it does mean we can count on God to help us through those difficult times. God promises us he will always be there for us, a sign of his never-failing love. It’s our faith in God that opens us up to receive what he wants to give, even if it is difficult for us to go through. The feeling of peace comes from a trusting faith.

We have all been away from home at times; it’s great to get away for different reasons. But we never lose our thoughts of home and the comfort it brings to us. Home offers a sanctuary of security. When we have a solid relationship with God, we have an “interior home” with God. No matter what is happening on the outside, we can return repeatedly to the home of our heart where God can be, making us feel serene. I knew Urban had to be missing his home, the comfort it brought, the regular feeding times, the peaceful naps and the love of his owners. Was he safe? Was someone taking care of him?

To make a long story short, through the wonder of technology and the relentless effort of my sweet and caring daughter-in-law, messages were received that Urban had been spotted in a parking garage! Her Dad jumped in his vehicle, making his way to the town where the parking garage was located. Another message received as he was near the parking garage, a lady was looking right at him! She kept him in place as Dad arrived to scoop Urban up; a miracle had happened! After days and days of being missing, he somehow found food and water, and then found refuge in the parking garage. He was in good shape, and I was told he took very long and peaceful naps when he arrived home. I’m sure they will be careful on their next trip to make sure Urban is secure!

We can all be lost and confused; but as people of faith, we can be found by remembering God is there for us. Never give up hope even in the darkest times. And just like Urban, we will find a way to be home again. I pray that your home will be in God, never losing hope in him and always having faith in the knowledge of his love for us. And never doubt miracles of any size can happen. Welcome home Urban!