When I decided to come to Mexico to minister to college students, I also decided I wanted to bring my cat. However, due to various circumstances, I was in Mexico for two years before I could bring her with me. On the way down, my cat unfortunately escaped from the car and ran away before I could catch her. I was heartbroken and guilt-ridden. I was not sure my animal lover’s heart would ever recover.
But it did. A few weeks after arriving back in my city, two students brought me kittens. One was a black-and-white boy that I named Sam, and the other was a tiny, gray, tiger-striped girl that I named Lucy. Lucy was involved in every activity that went on in the house. When we had our women’s Bible studies, she would come downstairs, take a seat on the sofa, and sit there quietly the whole time, listening to the study. Everyone loved her. She even melted the hearts of professed cat-haters. Lucy had mended my heart.
About eight months later, Lucy escaped through an upstairs bathroom window that was open only a few inches. I was hysterical. Losing two cats in less than a year! This time I was sure my heart would break. I immediately made posters, went out, and canvassed the neighborhood, taping signs up and asking people if they had seen Lucy. No one had. I looked under cars and in people’s yards; I called her name, but to no avail. All I could do was pray that God would bring her back.
The next afternoon as I was waiting for some students I began to pray for Lucy; I began to cry because I was so sad. It was then that God said to me, Look around you. Look at these people standing beside you. Why did you come to Mexico?
What I realized then was that I was out combing the streets, making hundreds of posters, trying to find my lost cat. I recalled the parable of the lost sheep and what Jesus had said, I have come to seek and save the lost. I remembered why I had come to Mexico in the first place. I had learned Spanish and was living in a culture and country not my own so I could tell lost college students about Christ.
I then felt how God’s heart is broken for the lost people of my city. I could feel His pain because I felt the pain of losing my kitten. I had come to Mexico to tell lost people about the hope of eternal life, but I was not going after them the way I was going after my lost cat. I was not putting up posters and walking the streets until midnight, calling the lost to come home.
But God was.
Suddenly my prayers changed. I asked God to break my heart for the lost students on campus and for the people around me who did not know Him. My tears became tears of repentance, because I knew that I had not been loving the lost as I should.
My perspective changed. I still missed Lucy and I continued to pray for her return, but I also began to see the lost as God sees them. My heart started breaking for their salvation. I became bolder in my evangelism, and I began to pray for the students more than I ever had before.
Lucy showed me how God’s heart breaks for those who are lost. Because of her I was able to more vividly understand and actually feel God’s pain. If my heart was hurting because of a lost cat, how much more was God’s heart hurting for His lost children?