Posted in Family, gratitude, Integrity, life, Southern born, thankful, wisdom

Ricky…and I Don’t Mean Ricardo

I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25

His name was Ricky. We lived on the fringes of a large city but were more country than city.  For a young boy finding his way it was the perfect place to grow up.  Snyder’s Grocery was about a half mile from our house and Owen’s Lawnmower Shop, who had the best penny candy around, was through the woods a ways.  The big day was when they opened “Jackson’s Minute Mart” just down the road from our house.  We were now in the big times.

Since we were in the country it was only logical that there were always a few pets around.  We had several dogs, all but one were mixed breeds.  The one was a beautiful red Irish Setter we named, “Satan.” Go figure. I’m pretty sure we were the only family around that had a dog with that name and the funny part is he was very gentle.  We also had a cat, and his name was Ricky. I’m not sure if we ever had more than one cat but maybe that was because one was enough.  Ricky was a tom cat, a tabby cat, and let’s just say, all cat.

He was kinda legendary around the home place. I remember that he wasn’t a “sit in your lap” cat but rather one that preferred to have the run of the place.  He, Satan, and the rest of the dogs seemed to get along just fine.  Since he was a real cat, we didn’t buy cat food for him…he simply ate what he could catch and what the dogs ate which were scraps from the table.  Yup, Ricky was a “John Wayne” cat if there ever was one.  And then…it happened.

One day, Ricky died.  Now my brothers and sisters might remember more details, but I don’t. I don’t know if he was sick or tried to chase the chicken across the proverbial road, but he was dead.  For some reason I can remember us burying him out back.  We had a backyard and at the back of the backyard we had this big row of bamboo bushes and beyond that was the wilderness…or at least it seemed that way.  It was often grown up with weeds and it seemed like a good place to bury Ricky.  So, we did.

Well, and you are not going to believe this, but something happened that seems almost impossible.  The day after we buried Ricky, sometime during the day, we found him sitting in the backyard, a little dirty but other than that none the worse for the wear.  As I remember it, we went out back to the wilderness and found his grave open.  Apparently, he had dug his way out.  Now none of us were veterinarians and we didn’t do an autopsy, but I am pretty sure I can vouch for the fact that he was dead. So, I guess I am telling you that Ricky the cat came back to life. And it seems to me, though I can’t verify it, that it happened another time…or two.  It seemed that Ricky did indeed have nine lives.

I know you are thinking, you must be thinking, that this just can’t be true, but I promise you it is. Ricky was one unusual cat…very unusual and the story is still circulating around the family today.  It was legend, it was myth, it was truth.  And that dear friend is true about someone else…and He wasn’t a cat.  A couple of thousand years ago they nailed a man named Jesus to a Roman cross and He died—not accidentally but with a purpose—to pay the price for the sins of the whole world.  After the bad guys made sure He was good and dead, His friends buried Him and guess what?  Three days later He came back to life. You might doubt Ricky’s story, but you can’t doubt this one.  He was dead and then He was alive.  Amazing.

I know there are a lot of skeptics about God today and too many have decided He just can’t be real.  Let me challenge you to get a copy of His story, the Bible, and check it out for yourself and then decide.  It is worth reading and believing.  Millions and millions of people have chosen to investigate…and then believe and them…it is a game changer.  Ricky did eventually die and not come back but not Jesus. He’s alive today and forevermore. In fact, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying.”  Go ahead, check it out and you might discover what so many already have.  It’s the real deal.

As I have journeyed, especially over these last couple of years, I have seen, and I have experienced many difficulties.  We all have.  And a whole lot of people have talked about discovering or rediscovering the reality of God.  Maybe it is your turn to do so.  One thing I know.  No matter what, how big or how small, He has been a faithful friend.  And no matter what, how big or how small, He always says, “I’ve got this.”  And…He does.  Bro. Dewayne