Psalm 25:7 “Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
Recently, my seven-year-old son began to learn about the importance of living an obedient life. At first, God spoke to his heart when he sat down to privately read his bible. Later, God spoke this same message during his Sunday school class. After awhile, my son realized that God was reaching out to him in every area of his life. One day, God even communicated His will to my son through a single silver coin http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/2012/04/ten-commandments-honor-your-parents.html.
One day, I began to reflect on how God was conveying the message of obedience to my son. As God would have it, I was able to vividly remember a time from my own childhood when God spoke to my heart regarding need for obedience. I chucked when I recalled that God had used a silver coin in my life too!
He was a long haired, black cat and the one my grandparents warned me not to play with. Still, out of all the cats they owned, for some reason, I was attracted to this one. His name was Pier.
We visited my grandparent’s home almost every weekend. Usually upon arrival, I would be the first to run into their house. I would try to say, “Hello” as fast as I could, before dashing back outside to play with their cats. Before the kitchen screen door would slam shut, my grandmother would cry out, “Nanna Pie, remember to leave Pier alone!”
On one occasion, while playing among the cats, the forbidden Pier sauntered up and began to slither against my shins. I wondered, “Is he purposely trying to tempt me?” I was old enough to know right from wrong and new to obey my grandmother’s warning. But when temptation started to creep in, I found myself reaching down to pick up the cat.
Amazingly, Pier allowed me to pick him up and hold him directly in front of me. For a split second, we were face to face and looking right at each other. Then, without warning, Pier extended his sharp claws and ran them quickly down my face. Frozen with fear, I began to scream. My mother quickly scooped me up in her arms and rushed me into my grandmother’s kitchen to investigate my wounds.
After the bleeding stopped, my mother told me to sit on the couch in the living room and not move. I was being disciplined for not obeying. I knew I was in trouble! I began to sob and remorsefully think, “I should have listened to my grandmother’s repeated advice.”
In a dimly lit room, I sat alone sorrowfully apologizing to God, when suddenly my grandfather appeared by my side. I had expected him to say something like, “I told you so,” but instead, he simply reached out his hand in front of me. Then, he unfolded his fingers to reveal a silver coin in the palm of his hand. I reached out to take the coin. I don’t remember taking the money, but I do remember the feel of my grandfather’s hand that day. It was warm and tender, like the hand of a baby.
My grandfather never said a word. He just looked at me through saddened eyes, as though he could feel my pain. In that moment, I felt less alone. And, through his small gift, I felt as though he was communicating the words, “I am still here, and I love you, even when you disobey.”
Today, when I think back to the memory of Pier the cat, I can’t help but notice how my feelings have changed and how differently I see that day. For much of my life, I was held captive by the guilt and shame caused by my decision of disobedience. I pictured that day through the lens of a dispirited heart.
Nowadays though, I can see, that even at the tender age of four, God was teaching me to resist temptation and obey my parents. He appeared to me the day Pier the cat, scratched my face. His soft touch was found in my grandfather’s gentle hands. His healing power was used to spare my face from permanent scaring. And through my grandfather’s gesture of offering one silver coin, God taught me a valuable lesson; real wealth is found in obedience.