Friday, November 22, 2013

Morning moments...

I have an old lady cat.  She's really, really old.  Like 17 years old.  Like mostly deaf, partially senile, and becoming stiff in the bones just like people do when they age.  Just a few years ago, I discovered she couldn't jump up higher than onto the couch.  She started coming to the side of the bed most mornings and meowing so that I would pick her up.

That's when we started our little routine.  As I still laid under the covers, eyes open, mind running over the day ahead, she would quietly move to my side of the bed, sit down and let out her call to me.  Meow.  I always lean down, pick her up, and place her right on top of my chest.  And then we would have our little morning moment.

It's not all sweet morning moments with the old lady cat, though.  She's a puker.  Yes... she pukes at least once a week, and it's quite a gross experience to walk in and find unexpectedly or to hear happening in another room.  And, honestly, I talk so ugly and angrily to her as I clean up her messes, because, in my defense, she can't hear me anyway.  On the days she doesn't puke, it's time to clean out the litter box, and it doesn't take much thought about that task to understand how gross that can be.

The puker is also a talker.  And if you spend a minimum of five minutes a day on the phone with me, odds are you will hear the old lady screaming at me.  Because, though she's always been quite a talker, seems that her hearing loss has made her a much louder talker.  She's loud, folks.  And she's the only breathing being that anyone in my house is allowed to tell to shut up.  I mean she is a cat that can't hear.  And even if she could hear, she's still a cat, and we all know that cats definitely don't have emotions.  So we all tell the old lady cat to shut up.  And then she screams back at us.

So many days I worry I will walk in a room and find her lifeless.  If I don't see her or hear her much in a day, I find myself checking her common resting spots.  In Scott's close underneath his hanging shorts.  On the couch downstairs curled tightly in a ball.  In the laundry basket with that one towel I leave for her to lay on, the laundry basket I don't even try to use anymore because I have given it over to her.  Sometimes when I locate her, she's sleeping so soundly that I fear she's dead, so I lightly lay my hand on her to check for breathing.

See, the truth is that even with her messes and her incessant loud meowing, I love her, that is as much as a cat will allow herself to be loved.  And this morning, when I heard her at the side of my bed, I gently lifted her up and sat her on my chest.  And she purred beautifully and squinted her little kitty eyes at me and I rubbed the sides of her jaw.  And my mind wandered for some reason to the Garden of Eden.  My mind does this from time to time, going to places that make no sense at all in the most ordinary of situations.  But this is what I heard:

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden.  So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.  Then the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"  {Genesis 3:8-9}

Atop my chest sat this nasty puking, litter box dirtying, obnoxiously loud fussing cat.  And none of it mattered in that moment.  I was so happy to have her there, warm and purring on my chest.  So happy to have my morning moment and connection with her that none of the aggravation of what lie behind or ahead mattered.

And that's how God feels about me.

God went looking for Adam and Eve just after they had sinned.  So many times I read this passage and got stuck on the fact that He was walking through the garden.  How neat to be able to walk alongside the Creator in the Garden of Eden.  But it wasn't until a few months ago that I heard someone say this is the first instance in the Scriptures of God's pursuit of His children.  How lovely.

Just like me, the not-so-proud owner of a puking, screeching 17 year old cat, if God hasn't seen me in a while, He will come looking for me.  And it doesn't matter if I've made a mess of things or cried too loud about something.  He waits to lift me gently onto His chest and enjoy His quiet moment with me.

Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, however messy and chaotic it may seem, there is a quiet place you can go.  And He waits patiently for you.

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