The Feral Heart

cats freedom heart Mar 11, 2020

By Doug Snyder

A gray stray appeared at our patio door last fall. It was feral, fearful from the harshness of living outdoors. Several head scars unveiled the probable cause of it’s wildly vigilant state. I imagined threats and encounters with other cats, dogs, coyotes, and occasional eagle. It took 4 months of patient coaxing to earn “gray cat’s” trust. 

Our relationship progressed from feeding to petting, receiving medicine to entering the house. Eventually the cat relaxed enough to take a nap on my chair. The naming also evolved, from “cat” to “gray cat” to “holy smoke” to “Diesel.” 

This process is not isolated to animals. The human heart is feral too. It leans wild. At the same time, it longs to relax, to be at rest, to be “home.” It takes the heart time to learn trust, to move from wild to domesticated, from roaming free to finding “home.”

Is being free and domesticated mutually exclusive?  


The human heart was originally designed to be free. And, in the beginning, it had the perfect home. 

However, in one simple act, one selfish choice, we lost both our freedom and home. And something within our heart died. We were enslaved and evicted. The heart became fearful, lost in a harsh new environment.

Thanks to God, Jesus bought freedom for all who believe. Many do find freedom. Sadly, most believers remain free, but feral, failing to move into, or understand, their new home.  

Gaining initial freedom, many lose further interest. In other words, “Thanks God for forgiving my sins. I’ll handle it from here.”  

I’m reminded of a similar story in Luke 17. Jesus heals 10 lepers. One returns to give thanks.

How’s your heart? Are you a feral Christian? Maybe you’ve found forgiveness and freedom in Jesus, but are still domesticated to this world’s depraved thinking and living?

My encouragement is simple. There’s more to faith than conversion. There’s the progressive process to acclimatize to heaven by Holy Spirit. 

Explore your new digs. Allow Holy Spirit show you what you’ve been given, everything for a life of godliness.

You are forgiven. You have a new identity. You have a destiny. You are empowered. You have authority. 

Citizenship in heaven doesn’t mean we wait until we get there to enjoy the benefits. The benefits are NOW! 

“…on earth as it is in heaven…”


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