MISS MOOX + time


I saw something tonight that made me think vividly and powerfully of something else.

I was about to go outside to clean my rabbit cage when out of the kitchen window I spied a cat. This cat was a gray and white patched one, sitting curled up in the backyard not far from the window. I called to him and he looked at me alertly; I spoke to him in my best high-pitched, cat-soothing voice and blinked my eyes by way of greeting. He continued to stare intently but didn't move.

I picked up the rabbit cage and hauled it out the door, hoping the cat would stay. But he swiftly leaped up from his resting place and ran across the backyard, toward the missing board in the fence from where he'd likely come. I called to him again and he stopped, looking back at me over his shoulder. I continued to talk to him in reassuring, high-pitched tones, told him everything would be ok, he needn't run away, please stay, I just wanted to pet him.

By the look of him, he was a stray. Skinny, ratty tail, no collar, the wary eye of an animal who has had to look out for himself. As frightened as he was, I could tell he wanted to stay. He meowed at me several times, his black mouth opening and almost imperceptibly voicing. I so desperately wanted to stroke him, to find out if he belonged anywhere, to offer him a meal, to take him to the shelter. But he wouldn't stay. Despite his hesitation, when I moved again, he darted through the boards of the fence and watched from the other side.

I moved to where I could see him through the hole and continued calling him persuasively. He meowed, a few more times. I could tell he wanted to be able to feel safe enough to give in. Cats are made to want companionship like the sun is made to rise every morning. It's just a fact.

But in the end, his fear won out. He trotted swiftly away and went on his way. A little sadly, I began to clean the rabbit cage.

And then it hit me. Thinking about that incident. That cat is like us. Like me. Scared, skinny, starved, alone, wandering wild, fighting for his existence, never sure where his next meal will come from, without shelter, fending for himself, friendless and mistrustful. I longed to offer that cat friendship, and maybe help. But in the end his fear and his instinct for self-preservation wouldn't let him.

In the same way, God calls us. Soothingly and persistently, he woos and beckons us. He longs to offer us his arms of love. Jesus went to the cross so we'd never have to be alone. Yet the walls of our fear and the walls of our shame and the walls of our mistrust and our bad experiences and our loneliness and our self-preservation make us run. We all have a deep-down longing for companionship, for shelter, for trustworthy, eternal love. But that scared cat in us all won't allow us to stay.

And he keeps calling. He keeps following. He'll never chase us, never hunt, never trap. He wants us to want him. He puts out food for us that we wolf down while at the same time keeping an eye out for him so we can bolt. Many times, we come to the point where we're starving. We're sick. We're near death. We can't make it anymore. Then, sometimes we realize that the arms of love are actually not such a bad alternative. We give in and let him hold us. We wonder what took us so long. And we find that what we were looking for all along is here, in the arms of surrender.

But some of us keep running. And keep on. But he'll never, never stop calling. He'll never stop following. And when we give in, we'll find him, waiting here, for us.

art, god, inspiration, Jesus, kitchen, love, morning, and more:

Relevant to: Chase + time