Tuesday, May 08, 2012

That darn cat

Remember that sweet little kitten that found us by crawling out from under a dumpster? (Read the story here) Remember how she entrusted herself to us, and it was like she knew that day that we were her only hope of making it so she became part of our family. Remember how helpless and sweet she was? Turns out she's terrible. She just is. She looks mean. She exudes meanness. You'll be walking around and all of the sudden she just bites the heck out of your feet. She'll bite your face, your hand. She'll bite you when you're petting her and when you look at her funny. She refuses to stay off the counters, and she knocks my favorite vintage glass strawberry on the floor (and I just know it's in hopes of breaking it). I can't stand her really. So I tried this thing "Project Nessa" to turn her nice. I thought, "if we are so super kind to her, and just show her love eventually she'll come around and start being a sweet ridiculously cuddly cat." Wrong! She's just as awful as ever. So here I am one day lamenting to my husband about it. Telling him "how did we get stuck with this waste of a pet?", and "She's the meanest living thing I've ever met, it's ridiculous." Then I mention to him something to the effect of "and to think we thought God was using her to teach us about him." Then John says something insanely (and characteristically) smart, "she still is." "OH yeah!", I start, "not a chance." And John, in typical fashion responds again, "Well, no matter how bad we are, God never gives up on us." I staggered mentally for a moment, realizing the perfection of the illustration. This helpless little thing, rescued from certain peril, only to turn into the kind of creature who would bite (quite literally) the hand that feeds her. And I realize, he's exactly right. Am I not like this with God...and, isn't everyone? Isn't that the whole point of Israel's story? Rescued from Egypt only to complain to God in the wilderness about the manna they were sick of, build a golden calf, forget Him and turn back to Him again and again? And how often do I take for granted the amazing salvation and love I've been shown by the Creator of the universe and bite at his hands in my life? But the point isn't my awfulness, or repeated failures. The point is God's love. See, the depth of the sin only makes the measure of the love greater. If I could love this cat...this mean-as-hell animal, wouldn't the love be greater because of her awfulness? Because of the fact that she never could be the kind of animal who "deserves" it? And wouldn't my love seem that much more amazing because of her terrible-ness? I remember Hosea, you know the prophet God told to marry a prostitute just so he could be a living illustration that no matter how many times we wander, he always accepts us back. Then I'm humbled. "The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” -Hosea 3:1 And I'm comforted again that God never stops loving. "His love never fails. Never gives up. Never runs out on me." (Jesus Culture, "One thing remains") And as my awareness of my sin increases, so does my appreciation for a God of infinite capacity. I guess I won't give up on her just yet...who knows what metaphor God may be teaching next.

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