Friday, March 30, 2018

The Bad News of Easter

Quite awhile ago, I heard somebody say,

If you were the only person on Earth, Jesus would still come to die for you.

Over time the statement got buried under tomes of theological head knowledge, its gritty truth never really trickling down into my heart.  

Year after year each Easter celebration I would give genuine mental consent and sincere lip service to the events in Jesus’ life that culminated on Friday’s crucifixion.

Knowing how the story ends, we seemed all too eager to hoppity- hop over to Easter with it’s colored eggs and chocolate bunnies celebrations, as if glossing over what killed Jesus is going to make it magically (or, some might say, miraculously) disappear.

With so many bad news in this world, we don’t want to dwell on the negative.  

Since we have the Good  news, we have to share it and have to share it quickly.

But, good news isn’t good unless you are willing to hear the bad news first.

So, with your permission, I'll share some bad news.

The cross of Christ is God’s final declaration on human goodness.

If we don't want to take God's word for it, life has a way of convincing us sooner or later.

What this means is that best, most wonderful, kind, industrious, talented, impressive, intelligent, good looking, successful person you and I meet (including the one we see in the mirror) has a dark, broken interior we all try so hard to conceal behind a façade.  Religious façade probably being the most grotesque of all.

Some of us are so convincing that we start believing our own Marketing and PR or Facebook feed.

As if this is not bad enough, it actually gets worse.

Our brokenness is unfixable.  We are irreparably messed up and there is nothing, absolutely nothing you and I can do to fix it. In fact, by trying to fix it, we often make things even worser (does that word exist in English language?)

This truth is so sobering, if we allow ourselves to linger in it for a bit, it has a potential to radically alter the way we see ourselves, the world and people around us. 

Some of us might be driven do despair. 

For some, this despair might be the best thing that happened in the lifetime of escapism and denial.

The Good Friday is God’s final heart-wrenching declaration on human goodness.

There is none. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Trusting Cat

As time went on, we presumably met the Cat’s persnickety safety standards.  

When she was hungry, the food was never lacking. 

When she was thirsty, the bowl never ran dry.  

Day after day, night after night, no hidden danger of any kind threatened her life or limb inside our house. No lurking monsters pouncing on her in the dark. Nobody terrorized her in any way, physically or emotionally,  not even those of us who loved her soooo much and wanted to hug her to death. 

As a result, slowly but surely she begun to trust us.

I know, I am the one most amazed by this fact...

The more safe she felt the less time she spent in hiding behind bookshelves or inside the dryer vent. I suppose one might say that she started feeling like our home is her home too, that this is permanent arrangement and she belonged with us.

Her fears and anxieties were slowly dissipating making room for wide-eye cat-sized curiosity.

She begun to watch us, study us, trying to understand us with her small albeit undeniably brilliant cat brain. We were doing nothing really special, just the usual human stuff. Talking. Cooking. Sleeping. Eating. Cleaning. Watching TV. Reading. Wrapping presents. Typing on the computer. Taking showers. Coming and going, leaving and returning.

What a strange life humans live! How fascinating!

She became mesmerized by all things human. Cupboards and lamps. Desks and computers. Chairs and dressers. Walls and windows. 

She would rub her head against whatever object she wanted to grace by her affection,

I love you human-cabinet. You are so amazing! Inside your dark belly you are hiding so many shiny round hollow treasures!

I love you human-leather chair. How soft you are, you feel like you were made of some gentle animal!

And you human-mirror - I love you soooo much. Your purpose is enchanting and beyond my paw's grasp.

One object we used after another, she couldn't hide her rapturous delight, pawing and scratching, rubbing her head against it's magical form. 

But, all this pales in comparison to how she felt when she discovered that at the end of our paws, we have these nifty appendages that give amazing massages!

The Cat learned that not only are we safe, but we are capable of providing endless stream of pleasure by rubbing and scratching her back, neck and behind her ears. Thus kitty yoga was officially introduced into our daily family routine and the cat begun to enjoy and even seek out our presence.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Missing Cat

The cat joined our family as a three year old stray which shelter described as ‘a nervous little girl’. 'Nervous little girl' is a polite way to say that we were adopting a psycho with three years worth of untracable history.

Three years of untracable history wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for in a cat to add to our hormone-raging family mix.  But, the moment we set our eyes on her, we were smitten. I won't even attempt to explain ‘love at first sight’ and the dumb irrationality that goes with it.  

The moment we realized she had thumbs (!), we knew we could never go back.

All the way home she wailed like a tortured baby goat driving other occupants of the vehicle to near madness. As soon as we arrived home and opened the carrier she clambered out, bounced into the study and wedged herself solid between the bookshelf and the couch. The fact that she chose the study and the bookshelves as her safe place made me forgive her for driving us mad on the ride home and love her even more.

The first week or so, she spent in deep hiding. When I say, ‘deep’ I mean ‘really deep’. So deep that one day we thought she escaped during our crazy early morning routine when kids were rushing out to catch the school bus, accidentally leaving both the laundry room and the garage door wide open.

All that day I searched for her in every possible and impossible corner, crevice, hole, crack, dryer and exhaust vent in our house and found nothing. I finally alerted our neighbors who proceeded to organize a search party eventually returning to their respective homes empty-handed.  

In hope to coax her back I followed a recommendation I found on-line and scattered her litter box content around our house and all over the flower beds! I know how it sounds... I am shaking my head just thinking about it. Our house was stinking like a giant litter box for days...

Still to no avail!

Exhausted and emotionally depleted we were sitting on the couch late that night staring blankly in the direction of moving images on our TV, when my husband exclaimed,

LOOK - the Cat! 

What cat? I mumbled too disoriented from the events of the day.

Swaying her hips like a fresh-baked diva, her soft fur aglow in the artificial light of the TV she strolled in front of us as if it's the most normal thing to do on her way to the bowl with food and water. She didn't dignify us with a single look.

I thank God we were too exhausted for an emotional reaction. We just looked at each other, glad we didn't have enough energy left in us to strangle her for almost giving us heart attack, and just enough left to feel the relief that she was safe.

And we loved her all the more because she was found although in reality she was never lost.