Ok, not quite that simple, but we have certainly had a lot of joy in caring for our three furry friends - Garlic, Pepper and Cinnamon.
Word has got around and almost every evening most of the girls in the neighbourhood come for a visit to see the hamsters. Garlic and Pepper - our males (above sleeping peacefully during the day) are the most friends and being long-haired they are oohed and aahed and carried and squealed over by the lasses.
Cinnamon is a bit cooler. A bit of a loner. Not as quick to allow herself to be picked up.
And then this week we got another hamster! Madge (short for "her Majesty the queen") is a Syrian female belonging to the Vethanayagam family who were on a week-long trip to Andhra Pradesh and needed a home for their baby. Madge goes back to her owners tomorrow.
At the end of the day - these little rodents (we were trying to think of a Hindi word for hamster and all we came up with was 'chua' i.e. 'rat') are fully and completely dependent on us. Asha has been pretty good about helping with the feeding and cleaning of their living bins (we have large open plastic bins for them). But Sheba and I need to make sure that they get their food and water and have their litter cleaned up daily.
Without our intervention - they are trapped. And can never provide for themselves. Take our constant care for them away - and that the end of our furry friends. At the end of the day I find myself amazed at how much time we spend with and on Garlic, Pepper and Cinnamon (and for this week Madge as well).
This got me thinking.
Thinking about how our Heavenly Father who looks after us. As I write this, we are just about to fall off to sleep ... and will be awakened at some time tomorrow morning. By His grace and kindness. Our food, our safety, the very air that we breathe is a gift from Him who does not slumber. Over and over again we are protected from harm. All our needs are met. We are refreshed and renewed in so many ways. Our lives are a tapestry of care and grace - amidst the grime of so much around us - and so much of what we do with our lives.
And aknowleging God's grace is key to the near and present future.
This coming week is likely to be a pivotal one for us. Tomorrow morning Sheba has her ultrasound which should guide our choices on the planned surgery. When will it be? Maybe Wednesday Aug. 14th...
Since her terrible pain and hospital admission 2 weeks ago - she has been blessedly free from pain except for one day last week. And through it all, Sheba has been able to care for patients at JSK - including in-patients. Truly a wounded healer.
We would love to have a 'miraculous healing' - but last week's pain was a reminder that the issue is still there. The way it looks at this point is that surgery is the way foward.
We are thrilled that my parents and flying down to be with us - we expect them Tuesday night.
Lots of things up in the air.
One thing we know - our dear Lord Jesus will look after us far more than we have been looking after our hamsters. We are very precious to Him - and He knows the hairs on our head (even though mine have been getting easier to count for some time now!) - and He will carry us through.
There is a hymn that Sheba and I like to sing which is apt for this coming week:
How good is the God we adore
Our faithful unchangeble friend
Whose love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end
Tis Jesus the first and the last
Whose Spirit will guide us safe home
We'll praise Him for all that is past
And trust Him for all that's to come