… and that’s very good news.
Let’s face it, I usually feel like I have things figured out pretty well down here without too much help from the Big Guy. While I would never say that out loud, the ways I act, stress, and try to control life down here speak volumes.
Sometimes it feels like I could imagine a better, more loving God than the Christian God. Perhaps that is because I don’t understand the goodness and lovingness of the Christian God, or perhaps more likely because I overestimate myself and underestimate God. Sometimes, when I think about things like Hell and predestination, it seems like I might be more loving than God is.
But let’s consider for a moment what I would be like as a God… by taking a look at how I love and care for my cat.
**Sidenote: I’m blogging about my cat. This may be a new level of spinsterhood to enter into, but I don’t care. He’s not a crazy-cat-lady type of cat anyway.**
This is my cat, Guacamole. (I have a million more pictures where this came from. If you don’t believe me, you clearly don’t follow me on instagram.).
Let’s imagine a normal day in the life of Guacamole:
He wakes up at 2 am, to meow and paw at the door to try to get me to play. When I ignore him for long enough, he goes away or goes to sleep.
Around 5, when I wake up, he commences getting himself in every part of my business to try to get me to pay more attention to him than to getting ready for work. Sometimes it works, specifically when he whacks me on the head from his perch on top of bookshelves. Then I play with him for a few minutes and continue with my more important business.
Around 6, I leave for work and Guacamole is on his own for the next 10 hours or so. I have no idea what he does, except that the house is usually intact when I come home, with a few closet doors opened or shut that weren’t before.
As soon as I walk in the door, Guacamole begins to meow and meow and meow for attention and food and water and whatever else he needs. I ignore him for a little while, with occasional shouts of “Shut up!” and then finally give in to his demands for food and attention. I usually even remember to clean out his litterbox at this point, but sometimes I don’t.
If it’s a particularly eventful evening and I don’t have time to play with him, I’ll let him sleep in my room so he gets some social company for the day, except he’ll get up and down too much or I’ll roll over and almost squish him, which means we’re both cranky.
And then it’s 2am and time to start the day over.
Sometimes I approach God like Guacamole approaches me: as if there is little chance that he is listening or cares, as if he probably has more important things to be doing than attending to my needs but I really need this now.
The good news of Christianity is that God is, in fact, busy with more important things than me: specifically, making his OWN name great. The great news of Christianity is that one of those names is Love, which is patient and kind. God never rolls over in the middle of the night and kicks me out of His presence. God never yells “Shut up!” at me and he never leaves me alone.
He doesn’t consign me to pain because it might make things easier for Him.
There are parts of everyone’s life that it’s hard to reconcile the fact that God was with us and that bad things happened. I don’t understand how he can stand by and watch his children be hurt by sin and brokenness, except that I know it must hurt him too. Because even in my broken, imperfect love for my dumb, imperfect cat, I can’t watch him get his shots. I hate knowing that I’m choosing to do something to hurt him, even if it’s for his own good. I know this is true for parents as well, and I cannot comprehend the amount that God loves us more than that.
I am not a God. If I were, we’d all be doomed.
As it is, it’s good that God is watching out for my cat, too.