The Cat, the Sand, and Forgiveness

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The Cat, the Sand, and Forgiveness

By Kristi Woods

Toby is his name. White and muted, furry orange cover his body. He’s a cat, and Toby claims our home as his own. Some days that’s good. Some days, well, we’ll leave it at that.

Our furry feline has a perch in the bedroom. He’s supposed to share it with Cookie, our black and white cat of longstanding good will. Selfishness roars, however, from time to time.

What if we refuse to gawk at granules of sand and stare straight into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of His word? What if we look to our Daddy and simply say, “Lord…I need you.”?

Some days Toby shares and all is well. Other days, sharing scurries for cover as Toby bats, hisses, and pushes to get his way – the perch in its entirety.

When Toby wants to be left alone, he’ll tuck his head down below the lip of the perch, eyes well hidden. Just go away, he seems to be saying, pretending that if he can’t see me, then I can’t see him. Problem solved – in his eyes only.

It’s a bit of a “head in the sand” situation. And that’s when I wish I could speak cat language. I’d offer the sage advice that sand doesn’t solve anything; neither does sticking a head in it – not for cats or people.

When hurtful words or actions hurl our way, it’s easy to plunk our head in the white granules, refusing to stare forgiveness in the eye. After all, forgiving is hard.

Maybe if I don’t look, the problem will just go away.

It’s too hard.

I hurt too much.

They don’t deserve my forgiveness.

But I was right. THEY were wrong.

Sadly, I’ve championed every one of those sandy thoughts. Maybe you understand?

I had a clash years ago. Hurt swirled. Anger festered. I was certain “I” was right, and “they” were wrong. I refused to forgive. The end result was a hardened heart and an angry outlook.

I wasn’t willing to look the problem in the eye or to offer forgiveness, not until my husband asked for change. He didn’t like the angry woman I had become, something had to give.


Soon after, I dropped to my knees and asked for God’s help. I’d been trying to handle the weight on my own. After three hours of worship, prayer, and cries for guidance and mercy, I emerged with forgiveness adorning my neck. Thank God.

I’d love to say I’m quick to forgive, but that situation lasted weeks before I entertained forgiveness. Stubborn pride got in the way. It’ll tamper with peace every time.

But what if we choose to forgive quickly? What if we run to the throne immediately when an offense hits?

What if we refuse to gawk at granules of sand and stare straight into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of His word? What if we look to our Daddy and simply say, “Lord…I need you.”?

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. Col. 3:13 MSG

Those are His words for us – be quick to forgive. It’s in the Bible, linked with the word offense, right there in Colossians 3.

It “sounds” easy, doesn’t it?

But there’s a battle with forgiveness. Darkness simply doesn’t want it. But God does. And with God the yoke is easy, the burden is light.

Which side shall we pick?

It may not always be easy, but I want to live daily for our Lord. And forgiveness resides there. Whether easy or hard, I’ll choose to offer forgiveness – because it’s right in the eyes of God, even if it isn’t in line with my flesh.

How about you? Are you ready to forgive as well?


Thank You for forgiving me. I want to forgive ________. Show me my own heart in this situation….and show me the way to forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at regularly and is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today, and on various blogs. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle and have now set roots in Oklahoma.

Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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42 thoughts on “The Cat, the Sand, and Forgiveness

  1. Forgiveness must be a daily walk, and your post is excellent. What a sweet cat (both of them) Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  2. Those sandy reasons can keep us right there. I’ve found often forgiveness isn’t one and done but I have to keep my heart tender toward forgiveness. B/c boy can it grip us tight! Good words today, Kristi.

  3. I know that the quicker I forgive, the better I feel – I know it’s not about me yet God provides thatpeace which I’m too stubborn to receive when I hold onto a grudge. Thanks, Kristi!

  4. Sometimes, we even convince ourselves we’ve forgiven while we maintain our distance from them or anyone who might hurt us again. We need God every step of the way, don’t we?! Thanks for reminding us how unforgiveness colors other relationships, too.

  5. I can so relate to this, Kristi! Forgiveness is a hard thing. I’m learning that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting and that it doesn’t make the hurt invalid. Tha Ms for your e ncouraging words today! ?

  6. I’m so glad I found your site! Thank you for being here and sharing God’s word with us. <3 I pinned a few photos from your post and the other ladies from Oh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful Wednesday 2/19/17.

    Blessings to you,
    Barb 🙂

    1. Thank you Barb! I’m so glad you found words that honor our mighty God! Come back! FYI- I also host the weekly DanceWithJesus Linkup that starts each Friday at 5 am Central time. Join us!

  7. Forgiveness is never easy, but oh when we allow God to take it from us and we are finally free, it’s such a beautiful feeling. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I love how you said that you “dropped to your knees”. I think when we “drop to our knees”, God notices! When we search him for help with the hard issues like forgiveness, he begins to work when we surrender to him. Oh how we need his help! Forgiveness is hard but so needed in our lives if we want to live in peace with others and our loving Father. Thank you for this reminder today.

  9. Well said, Kristi! Sand doesn’t solve anything, does it? Forgiveness can be such a hard choice to make. Daily. Hourly. I love the Message version of that verse. So convicting. Be content with second place.

  10. I’m grateful for God’s grace in leading toward His truth – often so gently and tenderly. He’s showed me in the past that my forgiveness of the person allows Him to have full control over the situation – and that allows me the room I need to heal. Thanks for sharing your heart and insight, Kristi. Love you, friend.

  11. Forgiveness can be so hard. It’s sticky, and uncomfortable, and complicated and sometimes feels like too much. But God knows it is the very thing our sticky, complicated, messy situation needs.
    Praying I can be more generous with forgiveness in those messy places!

  12. What a wonderful story of God’s grace reaching you where you were and giving your grace to forgive and be set free. Forgiveness is hard, but blesses the one who forgives and all those around her!

  13. Because we want to live daily with the Lord, and forgiveness resides with Him, it is a space we need to make room for. I like that Kristi. We have a little dog here in our home, we like to say she is a cat in the form of a dog because she is such an introvert. She pretty much acts like we were made to serve her and some of her humans actually do. 🙂 Yet, she seeks us out and she is so happy to see us whenever we come in that it reminds me of this principle of forgiving. When we forgive we are happy and blessed to see one another, we forget the offense but remember grace. Your thoughts on sand remind me of Psalm 139 where it says if we were to count the grains of sand, if we get to the end, God would still be there with us. I wonder if forgiveness is a lot like that, when we get to the end of ourself when we let go of the sands we count, then we finally see His face and we know how to spill grace in those difficult and hard situations.

    You have inspired me to think a little more about that.

  14. Head in the sand, yes. As I read your post, I remember that chat I had with myself in the mirror while I was getting dressed. I think I have some forgiving to do. Thank you, my friend.

  15. Kristi- I enjoyed this. Head in the sand, yes for many years. I still have my days.
    People close to me hurt me. I have to forgive daily, and so does my Father with me. I’m happy that He forgives me like He does. I’m a mess:)

    Thanks Susan for hosting!

  16. How fun to see your pretty face over here this morning, Kristi! Forgiving others who’ve hurt us is hard! But you’re right, with God’s help, it is possible to make that choice! XO

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