By Ginny Allen
We have had the privilege of raising four different raccoons at various times. Each was unique and very loved. However the 3rd raccoon we raised was more trouble than the other three combined. Life with that coon was a non-stop riot of fun and trouble. That's why we named him "Riot Allen" His antics are legendary in our family! The black spots of gum residue on an expensive sleeping bag bring back memories of how he loved to go to sleep while chewing gum. Since he loved to sleep with our young son Bob it also reminds us that sometimes we had to cut chunks of gum out of Bob's blonde curls.
Once Riot was left alone with a huge bowl of freshly picked blueberries. When I came back I found an empty bowl and a little fat coon covered in blue stains. He ate as many as he could then he threw the rest at the walls, ceilings and cupboard in the clinic where I was the camp nurse at Sunset Lake Junior Camp. He was fast asleep from another riotous coon adventure. It is funnier now than it was then.
I also remember once when he was eating he didn't hear Dave coming up behind him. When Dave put his hand on Riot's tail the surprised coon whipped around and sank one tooth in Dave's hand. When he looked up and saw his beloved master he ran to a corner, put his pointy nose in his hands and cried. Until that moment I didn't know coons would do that! Dave picked him and held him gently telling him softly that it was okay. Dave assured Riot that he knew it was an accident, that he knew Riot would never hurt him on purpose. He told the little coon how much he was loved but it took a lot of time that evening with Dave holding him and stroking his soft fur for Riot to understand that it really was okay. He was still a loved member of the family.
How we loved that little coon who grew to be a huge, gorgeous raccoon who we introduced to the wild to live the life that raccoons are meant to live. Yes, he was often in trouble. Yes, he was fun. Yes, he caused a lot of extra work. But he was worth it and we were thrilled to share our home and our hearts with this amazing raccoon.
If we can feel this way about a troublesome raccoon how must God feel about us? Yes, we might be more trouble than it seems like we are worth. But we are never too much trouble for God. He thinks we are worth whatever it takes to save us.
“My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring.”
1 John 3:18 NCV
Pray for those that feel they are too bad and God couldn't love them. Pray that they will open their hearts to God's all encompassing love.