This is Sebastian. He is our 5 month old kitten, and in the few weeks he has been living with us, he has turned our house upside down in that wonderful way fur babies can. He makes us laugh…he helps us relax…it’s all pretty wonderful.
However, Sebastian is a very, very vocal cat. The moment I open our bedroom door in the morning, he greets me with an enthusiastic chorus of “meow, mew, mrow, mrow, mrow, mewmewmew.” It doesn’t stop while I’m getting my coffee. It doesn’t stop after I feed him. It doesn’t stop as I make my way to my big comfy chair where I begin my mornings with Jesus. The only thing that quiets the infuriating noise is to pick him up and snuggle with him. That’s right. After he has annoyed me to the point of making me wonder why we thought that getting a cat was a good idea in the first place, I am left with no recourse but to invite him into my lap for one-on-one cuddle time.
It’s the last thing I want to do at that point…but it is, apparently, all he wanted. More often than not, he will curl up in my lap, gaze up at me adoringly (see above) and purr himself to sleep.
It’s hard to be angry when he does that.
It reminds me, in some ways, of my daughter. At three years old, the days are occurring more and more frequently that she is whiny…complaining about everything and nothing all at once…desperate for something and then angry when she gets it. It’s the requisite moodiness that I’m told three year old girls get, but knowing WHY it is happening doesn’t do anything to abate the frustration it causes. (The exasperation is especially deep if one of those days of whininess falls on a particularly vocal morning for Sebastian.)
What I have learned about my daughter, though, is that when she gets like that – when nothing makes her happy and Mommy is public enemy number one and everything in the world is the worst thing that has ever happened – all she needs is love.
I adore my daughter, but I get frustrated in those moments. Even though I don’t feel like it, though, I pick her up, pull her into my lap and cuddle with her. The mood doesn’t vanish, no, but the difference that a little quality snuggle time makes is pretty amazing. I have to put my frustration and even my anger aside to give her heart what it needs (even if she isn’t aware that it’s what she needs).
I was thinking about this the other day as I let Sebastian curl up in my lap. I thought about the fact that on the surface, I was only letting him get up in my lap so he wouldn’t drive me crazy…but that ultimately, snuggling with him is my way of giving him what he needs. I thought about the fact that when my little girl is in one of those moods, I lavish affection on her because I know it’s what she needs.
After the drama and noise, that’s not what I feel like doing, but I know what they need. Because I love them, I give them what they need.
And as I think about that, I am so thankful that God is the same way with me. When I am miserable to be around, that is when He snatches me up into His arms and gives me a little extra TLC. When I am far from being loveable, He looks at me and sees that love is exactly what I need. When I resist His affection because I just want to be grumpy, He persists through the rejection to continue loving me out of my funk.
What’s more, I am eternally grateful that He does so with not even an ounce of anger. While I get frustrated and begrudgingly pour out attention and love on those around me who need it most, God has no frustration. He sees only an opportunity to love on someone who needs it.
I do not deserve that kind of compassion. I am so grateful that being deserving is not a concern for God. If it were……