Our 20 year old cat has gone blind. She has thinned down to a shell of what she used to be and her once beautiful blond mid-length fur is now somewhat tattered and knotted despite our best efforts. She has eyes that we suspect sees only shapes and shades. She maneuvers around our house out of memory and familiarity. When we approach her, she leans in to smell who it is before commencing with her signature purrrr.
Early one morning she wandered the upstairs hallway meowing loudly enough to wake us all. I left my bed to sooth her. As I reached down to pick her up, without hesitation she began to purr and snuggled into my housecoat.
As I sat in a hallway chair petting her tiny head and cradling her fragile body I marvelled at her trust; she could not see me but responded to my presence with a kind of certainty that humbled me. It made me wonder when I have leaned unwaveringly into the presence of God as trustingly as my blind cat leaned into my touch. When did I cry out in the midst of my darkness with confidence that God would reach down and lift me up?
Her trust highlighted my doubt. Does God really care about the battles we face, the insecurities we try to hide and the fears that keep us up at night? Does a God of the universe even know we exist? Are our problems even worth God’s attention when the world is so full of tragedy and pain?
As I sat there in the darkened hallway the answer came to me; ancient words repeated through time spoken by a God whose love is timeless, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).
God is always with us, waiting to offer comfort and hope. How often do we miss experiencing God’s presence because we are so preoccupied with our own thoughts? May you take time during this Lenten Season to pause from all the hustle and bustle long enough to be assured of God’s loving companionship.
Rev. Heather McCarrel
Port Elgin United Church