A young woman in a crowded metropolitan city moved into a new apartment with her cat. The landlord was an older woman with an intuitive nature and generally found good tenants. This young lady was no exception, she was quiet, polite, and gave her no trouble.
A notice was on the door of the apartment when the young woman returned from a trip. The apartment was now managed by a company due to health concerns for the landlady. The young woman was quite fond of her landlady, and began visiting her when she could.
A troublesome tenant requested approval to have a dog, complaining that his neighbor had a cat. He threatened to go to court if the issue was not resolved. The management company’s legal counsel agreed that there may be a case. He was soon allowed the dog, with certain stipulations.
After a month of problems with the dog, the management company changed the policy to ‘no pets’ allowed. The young woman was faced with a choice, part with her pet or break the lease without penalty. The troublemaker chose to leave the apartment, so she decided to stay. She worried that if she left, the next tenant may be as difficult as her neighbor had been; and she didn’t want that trouble for the landlady, who may still recover. With great sadness she arranged for the cat to live with her sister.
The previous landlady and the young woman visited together in her nursing facility, for the older woman’s health did not improve enough to be left alone. Her young friend didn’t mention the cat on her visits. As time passed, the young woman became a welcomed and expected visitor, bringing a smile to the face of her prior landlady whenever she came. The young woman also became friends with the landlady’s daughter-in-law.
One afternoon the daughter-in-law brought her friend a small present she knew would be useful to her, and was invited in. The daughter-in-law noticed a few pictures of a cat in various places and inquired after the animal, assuming it was a family pet that had died. Her friend politely gave the name of the animal, but quickly changed the subject.
As the daughter-in-law left the apartment, she noticed a small mouse toy hidden partly under a shelf. She mentioned it to her mother-in-law who told her that the young woman had a cat, and it must have been hiding. On the young woman’s next visit, the older woman asked after the cat and was shocked to hear of the situation and what had transpired. She called the management company after the woman left, and resolved the issue right away.
The young woman found the note on her door allowing her to have a pet and stood at the door a full minute, rereading the letter again. She phoned her sister and tried to speak coherently, but words had left her. Just three hours later she cradled her pet in her arms with a brilliant smile on her face.
Moral of the story:
Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
In this story the young woman had no hope of resolution to her situation. She felt an attachment to her landlady and could not leave in good conscience, but she really missed her little friend. The moment when she again held her pet was a precious moment of joy. Just like the wise men who now at the end of themselves and their abilities, saw the star again. Stars were their lifetime pursuit, and how fitting that God spoke to them through that. Now they knew they were going to find the child, how they must have shouted out loud for joy!
The Lord allows circumstances and events to occur that have made me question His goodness if I am really honest. It is moments of pain that make this concept of questioning God’s trustworthiness and love for us become real, when we wonder why there is no relief. The cross was the same, there was no relief to an ugly day filled with pain for those looking on who loved Jesus. It was only when they saw Him again that they could truly rejoice – for death had been conquered. A time of pain, but an eternity to say thank you and rejoice.