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Posted Friday, June 22, 2012, at 4:33 PM

The sound of running feet filled her senses; sudden silence and then impact as he landed, solidly, on her chest. The air in her lungs left her body as she looked down at the gray mass of velvety fur now possessing her chest and lap. How could one small animal make so much sound? Or land with such force?

He looked at her with big, blue eyes; never wavering; rapt attention; his whiskers twitched slightly as she reached up to stroke his throat and face. He leaned into her touch and rubbed his jowl against her cheek. Love poured from his very being--not in that suffocating "you are my everything . . . I can't live without you" way. His love is simple, honest, an forthright.

As she strokes his fur, he turns a few times, flicks his tail over her shoulder and sets down--haunches in her face, of course. He pushes up on his front paws sitting there; flicking his tail around her ears and filling her nose with hair as she tries to move him to a more comfortable position--for her that is.

He anticipates her move and turns to look at her and rub his jowls against her hands this time. His whiskers tickle her as they barely touch her skin causing cascades of goose bumps to creep up her flesh. He slowly turns his body so that he drapes across her chest and delicately breathes in her other ear. He moves his mouth across her cheek and slowly strokes her with one lap of his tongue. Slowly he arranges himself to the ultimate position of comfort and placing one paw against her face, closes his eyes and sleeps.

His love is pure and simple. Why can't all love be so simple? Their relationship is based on one anticipating--and fulfilling--the needs of the other. She was feeling lonely, missing her son. He missed his boy and needed a touch from him. For her his presence was like having her son nearby since he and the cat spent hour after hour together. For him, she smelled like the boy and had the same gently touch. They shared a unique bond--each anticipating the need of the other and then striving to meet the need in simplicity.

Perhaps our relationship with God is also this simple "anticipation" as well. God longs for us, for our touch, our connection. We long for God, but we don't know how to overcome our shortfalls to be one with God. Jesus loves us and is part of both, so he gently, lovingly touches us, soothing us, stroking us, so that we are connected with our Creator. We wonder why God would want us; God wonders why we would ever doubt God's love for us. The anticipation of such pure love leaves us quivering; accepting such love is pure delight.

Creator, Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Anticipator of all we need, draw us to your love. We wait in anticipation of your love, your touch, your comfort. So be it. Amen.

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From My Heart to Yours
Rayla Stewart Hogue
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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