(first posted August 18, 2013)

Our old tabby cat is one of those special pets that show up out of nowhere and claim you.  Personally, I think those tend to be the best pets of all.  It was a rainy day about seven years ago when she wandered onto our porch hungry, pregnant and with a snaggletooth that makes her drool from one side of her mouth.  How could you not love her???  Cracker, as she was so lovingly named by our then 4 year old son who has a knack for naming pets, has been a fixture in our home ever since.

IMG_1594“Fixture” is the perfect word to describe her because unlike our other cat, Cheerio (told you he had a knack for naming), Cracker has simply been a part of our house and nothing more.  She’s shown zero interest in having a real relationship with us.  Yes, she relies on us for basics like food and shelter but anything deeper is outside her comfort zone.  In fact, it would be easy to get frustrated with her lack of interest in us after all we have done for her, but every time I look into that snaggletoothed face, I see a cat who has probably been hurt, rejected and abandoned along the way.  So, I just keep loving her in whatever small doses she will allow in hopes she will one day come around.

Well just this morning, I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a cup of coffee when along came Big Mama Crackalacka  (we like nicknames in this family).  Anyway, I knew not to make any sudden movements so I continued about my business while occasionally watching her from corner of my eye.  Before long, she was weaving in and out of my legs and swishing me with her tail.  I slowly reached down and even though she jumped a little, she let me pet her.  Victory!

Soon, she was soaking up the love and purring…actually purring people!!!  As I watched her finally let down her guard I was a little sad thinking of all the years this dear thing had gone without the love and affection that was there for her all along.  Then it hit me, or actually a “still, small voice” whispered to me that I had been Cracker.  I have been a Christian most of my life but for the majority of it, I had kept God at arm’s length.  Like Cracker, I had been hurt, rejected and disappointed by others.  I let the fear of being let down again keep me from the very One who would never let me down.  What a shame to have missed out on true intimacy with God, true peace, joy and contentment when it was there for me all along.

God gave me a place in His kingdom just as we gave Cracker a place in our home but He has so much more to offer.  He knows our fears and is patiently waiting on the day we finally let down our guard and begin a true relationship with Him.  Please let go.  Please trust God for more than your salvation.  I know it sounds scary but it’s the least risky thing you could ever do and oh so worth it.  Don’t rob yourself of Him any longer!  He’s waiting.

Update:  Although it breaks our hearts to have lost our Big Mama Crackalacka earlier this week, I’m happy to share with you that she really did learn to trust and let us love her.  She went from just being a “fixture” to part of the “mixture” that makes our house a home.  And just like Cracker, I think I’ve learned to trust God a little more too.

P.S. – Cracker passed away peacefully in her favorite sunning spot!