It had whiskers and a twitching tail and was looking in our window much like the humans who stare at captive zoo animals. Black cat, who usually runs as soon as we open the back door, sat calmly as if knowing we would not chase him from our current, relaxed positions. Husband immediately warned me against any ideas of making black cat into a pet. He holds a grudge about the absence of a dog in our lives and believes I am responsible for this lack of companionship that could be offered to him by a tail wagging, slobbering mass of canine presence. I merely point out the responsibilities and impracticalities of dog ownership, never telling husband what he can or cannot do; though that would undoubtedly change should he ever want to adopt a snake to fill the vacant pet position.
But, to get to my subject. If you were in church Sunday, you would have immediately noticed our college students have returned. Not only because their favored pews were filled with shiny, non-graying hair; but because there was an unmistakable energy that only this group can provide. These students come from different states, even different countries, and very diverse backgrounds. A few live close enough to go home occasionally, but most will be spending the majority of their weekends locally. They need connections in their new community.
We want to make our students, and all our visitors, feel welcome. We don’t want them to feel like stray cats looking in the Cape Bible Chapel window at the safe and contented members figuratively stretched out on their favorite pews. Make a point to welcome them, offer a hug, ask about their studies, invite them to lunch, or become a mentor parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even cousin. They need relationships with people of all ages.
Now, excuse me. Black cat has placed himself beneath the bird feeder, licking his lips. I’ve got to shoo him away. He is not permitted to eat or terrorize our feathered guests. Likewise, we do not want to see our young students terrorized and devoured by the prowling evils in this world. Let’s try to keep them well fed spiritually, physically and emotionally while they’re in our care.§
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in various forms.” 1 Peter 4:9-10