I’d like to share a personal story with you this week. My husband and I have a little orange-and-white pet hamster named Carrot. If you’ve ever experienced hamsters, you know that they are quite the escape artists. A few weeks back, I had Carrot out on the bathroom floor, watching as he explored. I glanced away for barely a moment, and when I looked back, to my utter horror, noticed that he was in the process of climbing into the smallest, unforeseen hole in the floorboards beneath the bathroom sink. I made a mad grab for him, but just like that, he disappeared somewhere into the woodwork.
I was utterly devasted! Carrot had delighted us with his friendly antics and sweet personality for close to two years. All the days I had spent taking care of him, and in an instant, it appeared he was gone for good. I had no idea where the hole led down to, and it seemed there was no way to try and get him back. All I could do was wait, wondering if he would (or even could) climb back out. I remember thinking, Dear God, don’t let this be the end.
I called my husband upstairs, and he carefully tried to create an opening in the sink floorboard to see if we could see him. Thirty minutes later, he had widened a gap enough that we could see in with a flashlight through the raised board. To my absolute surprise, deep in the darkness, at the back of the tunnel, I could see him! After an hour, the hole was big enough that I could barely reach an arm in and pull him to safety.
As unbelievable as this story might seem, as I lay in bed that night, I had an epiphany of sorts—a God moment, if you will, —that the rescue-mission for our hamster in so many ways mirrored that of God’s relentless rescue mission for each of us. Allow me to explain. God didn’t just rescue us from the eternal consequences of sin in Christ, but even now, is constantly rescuing us from ourselves. How many times have we ventured from the safety and security of God’s presence into the darkness of sin, squeezing ourselves into places we never should have dared go, just to find ourselves lost and alone, seemingly unable to make our way out? God could have written us off as a lost cause, but instead, pursues us, shines his light into our dark places, works until he can get us back home again. If we can do that for something as small as a hamster, how much more will God do that for us? This week, consider Article #2567 from the Catholic Catechism: “God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer.” In your prayer this week, ask the Lord to reveal to you where in your life he is seeking to rescue you—what attachment, vice, limitation, or fear is he calling you from?