Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet Bo.

Short for Hobo. He's my newly pseudo-adopted furry friend.

A few weeks ago I saw this skittish orange Tabby hanging out on our deck. He ran and hid whenever I'd come near. Over time, whenever I'd see the giant cat lounging on one of our patio chairs, I'd slowly slip outside with a can of tuna as a peace offering, which he accepted cautiously.

Now, he's here every other day or so, soaking up the sun on the comfy padded chairs. He even stays into the dark hours of the evening, and then vanishes to who knows where else. He now will approach me within inches, and today even let me pet his head. When I first met him he was a sad looking thing, and he still is to a degree; he had scratches on his face, his fur was thinning on his back, and he just looked like a tired old Tomcat, moving slowly and emitting scratchy pathetic meows. Despite the angle of this picture, he does have a nice long tail.  Now, I'd like to believe the benefits of the hearty tuna servings he's been dished have improved the looks of his mangy coat.

I know Judah's too young to understand the concept of charity, but whenever Bo is here, I talk to Judah about the importance of doing kind things for others, as Jesus teaches us to, which can on occasion include feeding an old homeless cat a yummy meal. I look forward to the day when he's older and we can go to nursing homes and orphanages together to volunteer our time and give away the love of Jesus to others in need.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fixing Our Eyes

Last night while waiting for Andrew to get home from a late trip, I did the usual routine to put our son down for bed. I swaddled, prayed over, tucked in, and kissed Judah goodnight. About 15 minutes later I was back at his cribside to console the distressed 5 month-old who just couldn't seem to quiet himself down for sleep this time. I picked him up, kissed him, told him I loved him, and set him back down, gently tucking the fuzzy blankets around his little body again.

And then, one of those special moments happened that I hope to never forget. I was about to leave the room when Judah gazed up at my face, completely quiet and completely content, and I saw through the dark that perfectly peaceful expression...the comfort and satisfaction that he felt in just being able to look at me. There was silence between us as we held each other's gaze, yet deep inside I felt my heart being touched by his. I just want to look at you, Mommy. 

My eyes welled up with tears, and fearing I would drop a fat wet one right on his sleepy face, I leaned in and kissed him one last time before leaving the room. He was silent and drifted to sleep without a single fuss after that. I returned to the pile of laundry I had been folding, but the tears didn't go away. I wondered why I was so undone by this simple event, and then I sensed the echoing symbolism behind it. 

Just as Judah loves to gaze upon his mother's face, whom he knows and trusts and delights in, so ought we to long for the gaze of our Creator, our Heavenly Father, who treasures us above all His creation and is the Author and Finisher of our faith. And just as I felt deeply touched by the contentment Judah found in staring into my eyes, so is God's heart touched when we desire Him above all else, when we content ourselves in Him and fix our eyes on our Savior.

I was both blessed by this beautiful picture of God's longing for us as His beloved, and grieved at how I all too often fix my eyes on our checkbook, or my family, friends, T.V., etc. looking for comfort and security and peace. Especially this Christmas season, I am once again reminded that my Peace and Hope and Salvation do not come from gifts, money in the bank, Santa Claus--or even myself, but the One True God, the Living God, who is my Redeemer, Forgiver of my sin, and the Lord of my life. I need to fix my eyes on HIM.

What or who are you fixing your eyes on?

"One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4