Monday, December 27, 2010

Follow the Leader

Well, I hope y’all had a very merry and Christ-centered Christmas as we did. I really intended to write a few more Christmas-themed posts, but I’m still thinking about them, and sometimes my inspirations are like a crock pot—they have to cook awhile before they actually come out of my head.

But, here is something I‘ve been thinking about for awhile already: my cat—yes, my newly disabled cat. Please be kind to her.

So, here’s the deal; my blind cat is not only blind, she is deaf now too. Weird, I know, but both senses vanished in the same day, I think.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been mulling around: I have recently been reading Isaiah’s prophetic words about the Israelites, and basically, Isaiah describes these ancient peoples as blind and deaf –just like my cat. But herein lies the difference between Israel and Sandy: the Israelites’ “blindness” and “deafness” caused them to run from God—to ignore His commands; Sandy’s disabilities cause her to seek me out—to perceive my movements, my scent, even when she can no longer hear or see me.

She constantly wants me to hold her or to she wants to sit on my lap. She knows that I will catch her if she falls—if she is close to me. When she can’t find me, she walks around meowing in this strange, guttural way and sneezing. The strange sounding meow is the result of the deafness. I don’t know what the sneezing is from. She knows she is disadvantaged without direction from me and she does her best to stay close to me. It is obvious she adores me (it’s true) and takes great delight in my presence. I am truly her leader now since she knows she can’t see or hear.

I wasn’t always Sandy’s leader. In her full-functioning days, Sandy was rather independent and, like most cats, wanted everything her way. She could sense danger and fend it off. She could hike into the woods anytime she wanted a mouse for a snack. Now she can’t do those things. Now she is weak, but she knows I am strong. Now she loves me more because she knows I will protect her.

In reality, I have always protected Sandy. She just didn’t realize it. In reality, I have always been in charge. She just didn’t acknowledge my leadership. In reality, she has always been pretty small and weak, but she felt strong and independent because she could see and hear. In reality, she always needed me.

Now, she knows she needs me because she is so incapable of finding the right way herself. She shows more affection now because she is so grateful that I can “see” and “hear” for her. Her crisis drove her to me, rather than away. When the Israelites struggled, their natural tendency was turn away from God—to follow their own “vision”. It didn’t work out very well for them, did it? I need to remember that when I think I know what’s best. And when I think my life is bad. And when I’m blaming God for his decisions. Compared to God, I really am blind and deaf. I need to be more like Sandy, realize my weakness, and try to follow Him wherever He leads.

I can’t see Him, but I can sense Him. I can’t hear Him with my ears, but I can with my heart. And my words may be awkward and sound strange (with or without sneezing) when I cry out to Him, but today I choose to make Him my leader, because, really, He has always been just that.

The song I learned in childhood is as true now as it was then:

Jesus loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak, but He is Strong

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18

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