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Peace and RestPosted Sunday, July 15, 2012, at 5:26 PM
He had not been still all day. The humans had sprung him from the kitty concentration camp (aka, the pet store) early that morning. They seemed to be nice--for humans--after all they paid his debt and released him from prison after all. So they had to be nice--for humans.
He had heard stories that humans were not always to be trusted. They started out fine; fed you; brushed you; played with you; however he had heard rumor that once you hit that awkward, "not a kitten stage" they often dumped you into the cruel world of "outside" where you had to fend for yourself.
He just didn't know if these humans were truly worthy of his trust and love. They kept talking about "her" and if "she" would love him, and something about "they could always take him back." He decided he would pull every "cute" kitten move in his repertoire out and win them over until they proved themselves worthy.
All day, he danced through the house, pawing at strings, hiding under furniture and pawing at their fingers (claws well sheathed, of course). He chased dust motes through the house from room to room. He did his "meowtial" arts routine--kicking, leaping, punching the air--his entire kata. He combined all the tumbling, gymnastic moves he could think of with this and pulled out all his adorable moves.
They kept trying to pick him up. He pushed himself harder, and harder, until he wondered how much longer he could continue to perform. If he gave into his body's need for rest would they snatch him up and return him as he had heard them say earlier? Who was this human they kept whispering about?
He was beginning to tire . . . running from room to room was exhausting. He heard a sound at the door. One of the humans tried to grab him as the other went to the door. He ran through the human's hands, running a zigzag pattern as he continued to grab at him. He was desperate and running out of energy as two more humans came into the house. He ran through the feet of the humans as the female of the two new ones knelt down . . . he hit the last of his reserves to turn on his super burners as she spoke, "hello sweet baby, come here."
Exhausted, he skidded to a halt at her feet, looked up into the kindest eyes he had ever seen. As she cradled his quivering body and lifted him to her chest, she stroked his fur--rubbed her cheek against him while whispering loving words.
His heart was hers. He collapsed onto her comforting chest, listened to the steady rhythm of her heart beat . . . relaxed . . . sighed . . . and allowed his body to claim sleep. Without thought, the quiet vibrations began deep within him. He was home. He was safe. This was his human. The quiet vibrations grew into contentment--a purr that radiated from his body with joy . . . and love. He was safe.
After his long nap, he awoke to find himself no longer in the house of the humans. Instead his new human had him resting on her shoulder as they traveled in a human vehicle. She was stroking his fur and whispered quiet words of love and adoration to him. He was content. He knew she would love him, provide for him, and love him for the rest of their lives--and she loved him.
They had many adventures together and lived in harmony. Well, sometimes she told him that his behavior was not appropriate (like his fascination for that roll of white stuff that he loved to spin, claw, and carry through the house, or when he would lay in waiting for the dog to walk by, then leap onto the dog's back and ride the bucking thing while hanging on with his claws in the dog's fur, and then there was that one time when he found a window open and decided to go explore the great outdoors and the rain storm with hail soaked him to the skin and pelleted him with bruises). She always loved him, forgave him, reminded him that the behavior was not appropriate for a cat and life went on. He had to admit--she was right. Her love never failed him. When he strayed, she was always there, waiting for him, searching for him, loving him, encouraging him--she was constant in his life; as was her love.
God is like that. God is constant. God is love. God provides what we need while not providing all our wants. God sometimes allows us to learn by getting ourselves out of the tangles we have created for ourselves. Yet, God always loves. God is always there.
We are the ones constantly on the run. We are the ones who choose not to listen. We choose not to follow the ways of God. Still, when we have run out of ideas, tricks, moves, and energy--God is the one who picks us up, whispers words of love, and gives us a place to rest. The choice . . . is ours.
Loving One, we forget about your love so often. We expend ourselves by running this way and that. Instead of following your way we try to create new ones. We exhaust ourselves. Thank you for loving us so much that you wait for us and love us no matter what we have done. We know we can always turn to you. Help us to remember that in you we can truly find peace, and rest. So be it. Amen.
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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.