Although they can be playful and loyal, furry friends, cats love to scratch, yet declawing is illegal in many countries and a few American cities. Declawing refers to removing claws by amputating (or lasering) part of the toe (ouch!), so advocates contend that this a cruel surgery. And in some cases, we adorable humans need to be “declawed,” because we sometimes participate in destructive “scratching.”
But it is healthy for cats to scratch, as it helps them to reduce stress and to strengthen their back muscles. Besides, it’s not their fault that they like to scratch. It’s instinctive. We just need to channel any destructive scratching into appropriateness by providing accessible scratching posts. Those little friendly, cuddly balls of fur appreciate a nice scratching spot. So satisfying! I’m glad to hear about laws that protect our little independent, inquisitive buddies – and all animals.
But humans, let’s become “spiritually declawed,” so that we don’t keep scratching situations that are healing. There are many Biblical healing narratives (Matthew 15:28, John 5:9, Luke 17). We “scratch” whenever we expose ourselves to the same unproductive habits and people from whom God has delivered us. We “scratch” whenever we desire to explore something that the Bible does not sanction. Yes, it is so hard to refrain from scratching, whenever something itches. Let’s surrender those itches to the Lord.
Of course, from a medical perspective, scratching may hamper the healing process, damage new tissue, and increase infection. We can relieve an itchy, wounded area by covering it with sterilized bandages. Likewise, our souls are covered as we abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1), our fortress and protection. The Lord restores my soul (Psalm 23:3).
And let’s not be so “itchy” and scratch and dig into other folk’s business. Some people have been delivered from some unbelievable situations, and meddling could trigger setbacks. Let’s not use others as subjects of gossip and condescending stares. No scratching.
Good old-fashioned advice is this: Let’s really try to mind our own business (to a feasible extent). If we would just take care of ourselves, there would be plenty to do. For me, no meddling as a busybody (2 Thessalonians 3:11).
A final note: Relative to all that we are capable of achieving through God’s strength, we have only “scratched the surface.”
A song of prayer by psalmist Kelly Price: “I need a healing for my soul, so give ne a healing for my soul. Lord, I’m looking for a new life, just for my soul. Lord, I need Thee. Oh, I need Thee to take away this pain and misery. Cause God, I just can’t do this by myself. I need help, Lord. Healing for me, that’s what I need. Lord, exchange my issues for Your virtue.”
In Christ’s name and for His sake, amen.
Della Marie Woods Newkirk is an educator and native of Lillington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.