Thursday, July 30, 2009
Holding Back the Claws
I want to always trust God the way my mama cat trusts me. My best friend has commented more than once about how tame my cats are. Her cats are tame, too. They are loving. They purr when petted. What's so different about mine? Trust... Total trust.
I thought about it this morning when I cradled Little Bear. She is a farm cat and lives outside, hunting mice and other varmints while escaping whatever larger predators may lurk in the darkness. Yet, with all the natural instinct a cat can possess, she is not the tiniest bit 'cat' when I hold her in my arms. A lot of cats won't let you turn them upside down (especially if they grew up with little kids!), but that's how I always hold Little Bear. I lift her with one hand under her belly and roll her into my waiting cradle. She falls back into the comfort of my arms peacefully and begins to purr. She doesn't struggle to upright herself. She doesn't reach out with her claws to secure a hold on my shirt. I can walk around with her, bend over, stoop... It doesn't matter what I do; she purrs with contentment for she is in her mommy's arms.
She was days old and orphaned when we found her. She was one of a litter of five – one dead, four barely alive, crying, their bodies cold, their eyes barely open. We took the four sickly kittens home, stopping along the way for kitten formula and the other necessities. Don King (should have seen his hair) was the worst. He survived a few days, but never seemed likely to make it. The other three flourished. Chubbers, with his unquenchable appetite, appeared to have swallowed two ping-pong balls. Paint Girl’s fur looked as if a loaded brush had touched her in places on her back. And Little Bear… so deep black, with golden eyes, claws that always seemed too long to withdraw into their hidden place. (see photo) And we became their parents.
Before the DOG came along, the three of them walked the lane with us to the mailbox and back. They followed our lead everywhere. They were devoted to us because we saved them! We saved them from death. We saved them from a hard life with no one to guide them. We provided them with everything they needed. We loved them and nurtured them. They know the sound of our voices.
I was barely alive when Jesus found me. My heart was cold. My eyes were not open. I faced certain death. I was struggling to survive. I needed His guidance and His love. God is now my Father. He saved me from certain death. He guides me daily, giving me wisdom to make the right choices. He provides me with everything I need and more. He loves me and nurtures me. And I know the sound of His voice.
He tries to pick me up, to cradle me, to give me comfort. Sometimes I let Him. Sometimes I bring out the claws. I reach to cling to something… control. I am afraid to let go. Why? Has He not always cared for me with the greatest tenderness? Don’t I trust Him with my life? Of course I do! But instinct tells me to bring out the claws, at least until my reasoning takes over.
Little Bear knows that she doesn’t need her instinct with me. I don’t know how she turns it off, but I’m going to learn. It will probably take a lot of practice and patience, but, hopefully, with time I too will no longer pull out the claws when my Father takes me into His arms.