The other day I was called into action, to urgently assist during a crisis of faith…
My friend was very worried, troubled even. He was unsure where his next meal was coming from. The provision he had grown accustomed to, had apparently dried up. Up and down he paced, back and forth he walked. His movements a visible manifestation of his concern. Would his life turn around? Would he ever get back to the way things were?
I tried to reassure him. “It will be OK, you’ll see,” I said.
But my words fell on deaf ears and did absolutely nothing to lighten his mood.
I put my hand on him and spoke to him again in the most comforting of tones, “Trust me, there is nothing to worry about.”
Still no reaction. No change to the anxiety centered just behind his eyeballs.
Clearly this was a time when words just weren’t enough. Only actions, and swift ones at that, would bring about a change in his thinking. He was stuck, stuck in his circumstances, an insurmountable barrier to his normally resilient faith.
So I moved quickly to remedy the situation. I jumped into my car and drove faster than normal to the store. I scanned the aisles looking for his favorite foods, grabbed a good amount and returned within 30 minutes.
As soon as I came through the door, I could see the relief in his eyes. If anything, my temporary absence seemed to have heightened his doubts but I was back now, carrying what he assumed was an answer to his most pressing of needs.
But it was only once he had actually eaten that he began to fully relax as he stretched out on the couch.
When I saw him later that day, it was as if nothing had happened, as if he had never really been worried at all. I marveled at how a few dollars of food could so radically alter his mindset. But it had.
I sighed to myself as I said, “I wish it was always that easy!”
Then again, Waffles is only a cat, so his problems aren’t as drastic as some of the ones we humans face.
I wonder how often I have related to our Father in roughly the same way as Waffles related me to that morning.
The same anxiety, the same hurt look in my eyes, the same pacing back and forth, the same reluctance to be reassured when He told me it would be OK…
It seems to me that Waffles has better excuses than me. After all, I don’t know how good his memory is – perhaps he doesn’t recall that we have fed him every day for several years now. Or maybe he doubts my intentions, my love for him – and if he does, perhaps he is justified in thinking that way. You see there have been a few times I have been quite angry with him. Like when he decided that the carpet in the front room was a more appropriate spot for certain activities than his kitty litter…
But I don’t have a short memory and I don’t have any reason to doubt my Father’s love…unless I allow my circumstances to dictate how I think He feels towards me.
But that’s a crazy idea and certainly not supported by how He has made Himself known to me.
Move over Waffles, it’s my turn to relax on the couch, safe and secure in my Father’s love without a care in the world.