This is the story of two different cats that tried to get into two different churches in the dead of winter. The first cat was in south Georgia. The second cat was in North Carolina.
The Georgia pastor worried about the cat that he had often seen hanging around the church grounds. It was an unusually cold night for south Georgia, well below freezing, and the pastor feared that the cat might not survive. He went to the sanctuary to check on his feline friend, and sure enough, the cat was huddled next to the front door. The pastor cuddled the cat in his arms and took him inside the warmth of the worship center. Then he asked himself, "Now where do I take him?"
He could not think of a good place to put the cat, so he left the cat in a senior adult lady's Sunday School classroom. The next day, when he went to check on the cat, the classroom was torn to pieces! Drapes and chair covers were ripped open by the cat's claws.
The cat in North Carolina was a totally different story. He noticed a window slightly open to the boiler room of a church, so he climbed inside. Soon afterward, the custodian noticed the window ajar, and closed it. About a month later, the custodian noticed an awful smell coming from the boiler room, and when he went to check, he found the cat had died inside.
Both stories had a bad ending, but I smell a more important spiritual lesson in these stories. I wonder, what if the cats had been people? There are many desperate people, who need to come inside the church to experience the warm love of God's people and the hope of faith in Jesus Christ. However, if we let them in, they will bring their problems with them, and they may make a mess. Would we rather they be shut out and just die?
Excuse me, I think I need to go crack open a window.