Not long ago, I was talking to a friend and we veered onto the course of politics and what hot topics we agreed/disagreed with. By veered, I mean took a sharp right. And by took a sharp right, I mean I was just curious, so I shoved the car down a cliff.
I’m pretty blunt when it comes to that stuff. I love discussing politics with other Christians because it always challenges me to back up my opinions (in this case, political) with my faith, and I think that’s something we forget about doing. We want to do what our culture tells us is right, but often, that doesn’t always line up with God’s word.
In this particular conversation, we were talking about abortion and gay marriage. Neither of which I agree with. This post isn’t a political rant—don’t worry; I’m just trying to give you the context. So anyway, we were j-chillin (am I cool yet?), and after a discussion about God’s design for marriage, my friend asked me something that I think a lot of people sometimes wonder, and even more people aren’t sure how to answer. Out of frustration for how imperfect we are, my friend asked, “If God knew we were going to fail, why did He make us human? Why bother with us at all?”
I understand her frustration. And her question makes sense. Why would a perfect being, holy and righteous, create people who reject Him, who fail Him, who shove His love back in His face?
So this is what I told her. Hang with me for a second.
Around Christmas, I was maybe five, I was walking through a department store or Walmart or something, and I saw this black and white toy cat. And man, I wanted that thing. And I begged and begged, and my mom said no. Lo and behold, unwrapped on Christmas morning was the stuffed animal, which I named Sammy.
I thought Sammy was the bee’s knees. I did everything with her. She talked to me, I talked to her. I eventually got another stuffed cat and they had to get married. I put lipstick on Sammy (no it didn’t come off) and they said their vows. Beanie Baby cats served as their kittens. I had a whole cat family. I had my black and white Sammy cat. I wanted so much for her to be real, that sometimes I’d fill up a bowl with water and shove her face in it to pretend she was actually drinking. I’d sleep with her on my bed at night, like a real cat would. She was perfect. She never scratched me. She never complained. She always listened, always obeyed, she never failed me. But eventually, I grew up, and that Sammy cat that I loved…well, it didn’t love me. It couldn’t love me because it wasn’t real, and if it were real, it wouldn’t have loved me anyway, because real love isn’t ever forced. So Sammy became a shell.
But my junior year of high school, we found a kitten hiding in the grass. A black and white kitten that we named Moses. Mo was adorable. And he was real. For the first two days that we had him, we kept him in a basket in the bathtub so he wouldn’t get lost in the house or freaked out by the dog. I’d sit in the bathtub and hold him for hours, talking to him, singing to him, trying to let him know that he didn’t have to be afraid. He’d snuggle into me and sleep. He’d rub his head on my cheek when he was happy. Just because he wanted to. When I’d come into a room, he’d perk up and put on a show of walking to me, glad that I had come home. I’d play with him and laugh as he bounced off one object and then another in pursuit of whatever string I’d managed to scrounge up, his eyes crazy, his uncoordinated paws batting at air more often than toy. That cat brought so much joy, and I loved him. And he loved me, in the cat-est way possible.
But like all cats, they do their own thing, and as he grew up, he sometimes got in his head that he didn’t need me anymore. He’d get mad when I had to take away something he was hurting that wasn’t his to hurt, or for yelling at him for running in front of something that could kill him, even if he didn’t think so. He’d growl when he thought he’d had too much love. He’d go hungry or get cold when he stayed outside for too long, even though I’d tried to call him back. And when he ignored me, I’m not going to lie, it hurt a little bit.
He scratched the furniture. He knocked my cell phone in the toilet. He would wake me up at four in the morning because he decided his plans were priority. Yeah, he’d scratch me. Yeah, he’d hiss. But you know what? Never, ever, could I got back to Sammy cat. Because sometimes, Mo still snuggled up next to me. He still rubbed his nose on my cheek. He still waltzed my way with all the swagger I could never hope to possess. And for all the times he was mad, for all the times he hated me, for all the times that he failed and got himself hurt by doing things I tried to teach him not to, for all the times he thought his plans were better and he ended up missing out on treats or cuddles or play time, for all those times he didn’t want me… those times when he’d love me, those times when he just wanted to be with me, for no other reason than he loved his Momma…those times made it all worth it.
Mo wasn’t Sammy cat. He wasn’t perfect. He chose other things, but sometimes he chose me, and it was beautiful.
So you see, God made us human because he wants us to choose Him. Not because we have to, but because we love Him, and because we want to be with Him. And despite our failures, rejection, anger, selfishness, He loves us still.
Let’s pretend that two of me’s exist. If someone took one me and said, Kay, because she’s failed miserably, is going to be murdered unless someone else dies for her. I wouldn’t volunteer for myself. In a world where we wouldn’t even die for ourselves, He already did. That, if it doesn’t blow your mind, should.
We can’t understand God’s love because it doesn’t make sense to our humanity. There is nothing about it that we can rationalize. And after 21 years, I’ve given up trying to figure it out. It doesn’t matter if I understand how he manages to love me, despite the times I scratch and hiss. It only matters that he does.
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