Saturday, August 29, 2009
I'm the cat.
This is Aaron and Bucket. Bucket is one of the last of our wild cats at the church. Bucket has lived most of his life outside hunting for his own food and living by pure instinct. He's always fearful and on edge. His life is pure survival. Aaron has been working with Bucket, being very careful, keeping his distance and slowly, over time, getting the cat to trust him enough to eat out of his hand.
When I snapped this picture I was thinking about being on South 9th Street. We go there on Friday mornings bringing food, cold drinks, chairs in the shade and the offer of friendship. The culture there is so paranoid that it takes a long time of being there to develop trust.
But tonight, sitting with my family and some friends from church over a meal I thought of this picture again. I thought about the long faithful pull of God in my life leading me through darkness and fear and continuing to offer grace, provision and patient love. I thought about how God bides his time and doesn't get antsy or worried. How his slowness is from patience not willing for anyone to perish.
I realized that I am the cat. I don't trust God. I am afraid of how life moves. I take what I can get while I can get it because I am afraid it won't be there tomorrow. I live in a kind of soul-survival mode. I get by. I lay down with one eye alert and waiting for something to go wrong.
But there is God, crouched at a distance with a handful of good food and purity in his intentions. If I only knew that I could rest and trust and receive. If I only knew that there is a life beyond survival, that I could be near him and happy.
He doesn't give up. He waits and knows how much I can handle and probably chuckles a little at my protests at his kindness.
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18