Saturday, November 12, 2016

12 November 2016

Good morning, welcome. My wife and I have a cat-Spencer-and a dog-Tracy. Spencer came first. She is actually named after our favorite Criminal Minds character; Tracy, well-what can I say? Anyway, Spencer came shortly after we moved down here. She was being fostered when we got her, consequently she was well adjusted and very affectionate after the manner of cats, meaning when she feels like it. Spencer is a gentle soul and, being partial to gentile (read quiet) souls, she is my favorite.

Tracy, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. Spencer is probably a year and a half, maybe closer to two now. Tracy is a rescue dog; we found her in a no-kill shelter run by a veterinarian. The vet told us she was maybe nine months when we got her; we now suspect she was closer to six months. At least, that’s how she acts. Being a rescue dog we can’t know for sure what breed she is, but I strongly suspect she is predominantly Whippet. She has all the physical characteristics and exhibits all the behavioral traits-in other words, she looks like a Whippet and acts like a Whippet. That means, in essence, she goes from 0 to 60 at the drop of a hat (or movement of the cat) inside or outside with no regard for or awareness of obstacles like furniture or steps people or holes she dug in the yard. It also means she is extremely affectionate and clingy and loves our couch, especially when we are on it. And our bed. Tracy is my wife’s dog-they are pretty much joined at the hip. Which I think is very cool because my wife, also a gentle soul, was made to care for kids and dogs.

The couch is also one of Spenser’s favorite places. We put a blanket on the middle cushion for her and she will curl up on it for hours. Until, that is, Tracy came along. The blanket on the couch is also Tracy’s favorite place. For several months poor Spencer was a displaced person; Tracy hogged up the blanket (and the bed, for that matter) and Spencer was left to fend for herself. Lately, however, a change has taken place. Spenser and Tracy have become BFF’s. They play and roughhouse all across the living room leaving a trail of disruption in their wake, they sleep with us on the bed; Tracy as close to my wife as she can possibly get and Spenser down around my feet. And they share the couch, side by side on the blanket. I have a ton of pictures of them together; I’ve put a bunch on Facebook with appropriately witty captions. Watching those two sleep together on that blanket is one of my favorite things. Which brings me around to the point of this post.

The satisfaction and peace and joy I have watching those two sleeping together must be, in some small way, similar to the satisfaction and joy God feels when He sees His children (that would be us) getting along. And, just like I laugh at the silly things they do, I’m pretty sure God laughs at some of the silly things He sees us do together with each other. Yes, I believe we and the wonderfully diverse humanity He created bring God great joy and even make Him laugh.

The other side of that is we also bring God great sorrow when we do not get along; great pain when we deliberately hurt one another. God loves us and He expects us to love Him back. And as someone wrote-how can we love God whom we cannot see when we do not love our brothers and sisters whom we do see?

In the beginning Spencer and Tracy did not get along. Only after time together, getting to know one another, did the fear and whatever else dogs and cats feel about each other give way to their equivalent of mutual affection. It is the same for us. We are a diverse humanity because God loves variety. We have a big advantage over Spencer and Tracy, however, in that we can communicate with each other. We can spend time listening to each other’s fears and hopes and dreams and we can work together to overcome our fears, share our hopes and accomplish our dreams. Or we can be afraid of anything or anyone who looks or talks or believes differently from us. The problem with that is, we all belong to God (as someone else wrote, we live to God and we die to God, whether we like it or not) which means we are all equal in His sight. We simply have no excuse for tolerating hatred. None. Period.
Spenser and Tracy have a lot to teach me about how we relate to each other and to God. Tracy doesn’t care that Spenser is a cat and Spenser doesn’t care that Tracy is a dog. They are perfectly capable of doing what cats and dogs do and still, somehow, finding a way to be BFF’s. We should all be like Spenser and Tracy. God requires it. Now more than ever, our country needs it. JRG