|Grady, and my knees|
It may sound far-fetched, but it’s a fact. Grady, my fashion forward feline friend from Frisco (OK, I hate that term. He’s from SAN FRANCISCO, not (shiver) “Frisco”, but it was the “f” alliteration thing, and I succumbed to the temptation to add just one. more. “f:. FAIL.) is having an identity crisis.
|Grady, on the right, with his adoring friend, Sebastian, in the halcyon hairless days|
|See his wrinkled hairless belly? He felt like really warm suede.|
Maybe it’s because it’s winter. Or maybe because he’s just fatigued by his old image, and wants something different. Or maybe he’s just doing that “I’ll do whatever the heck I WANT to do, thankyouverymuch,” thing that cats do, because they’re cats, and they can, but Grady is apparently finding a new groove for his bad self.
|Fashion forward Grady: He calls this pose “Le Tigre”|
My dear friend Gigi sent me an email yesterday from her iphone, with this message: Grady’s Growing HAIR!!!! Imagine my shock and awe, when I saw THIS:
|Note the fuzz on his haunches and back.|
I think he looks a little “uncomfortable in his own skin”, as it were, with the whole new vibe he’s got going on, but that’s life, you know? We make changes. We try on a new attitude for size. We vow to set and keep new and better boundaries. To stop being such a pushover. To quit being a doormat. And, initially, we’re just a bit uncomfy. It doesn’t quite feel like “us”, at first. Well, and then there’s the pushback we get from others, as we are no longer available to meet their unhealthy needs, as we once were. That gets REALLY uncomfortable. Like the stubble that starts coming in after you give your legs a nice, close shave.
I asked Gigi how she felt about Grady’s new look, and she said she was sort of proud of him, the way you feel when your adolescent son first sprouts whiskers. But that her daughter, who had wanted to get a furless cat in the first place was feeling a wee bit ripped off. The old bait and switch, perhaps? But Gigi was philosophical about the whole thing. She said it was kind of like life: lots of stuff happens that you didn’t sign up for, and you really have to figure out how to roll with it. Which can be really, really REALLY hard. Huh? Lots of you know just EXACTLY what I’m talkin’ ’bout. I am hearing some “Amens” going up from in front of computer screens all over the world, right now. Life is hard! There can be lots and lots of unanticipated changes involved.
Which reminds me of a story I told just this week. It’s one of my favorite stories, because it’s really, really true, and it happened to a friend of mine. Well, it happened to my friend Sandy’s friend, anyway. (I am going to change the name of the little boy involved in the story, however, just to make sure he’s protected.) Sandy was the speech therapist at the school where I used to work, but she had several schools where she offered speech therapy, and at one of them, she had a dear friend who was the kindergarten teacher there. The kindergarten teacher, who shall henceforth be referred to as the Kind Teacher, told Sandy this story, about a boy in her class named Marquez.
It seems that it was the first day of school at this inner-city school, and the Kind Teacher noticed that at noon, little Marquez was packing up his backpack. The Kind Teacher asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was getting ready to go home. The teacher said, “Oh, no, Marquez, it’s not time to go home yet.” And Marquez, a veteran of the Head Start program for a couple of years prior, patiently explained to his teacher, as he pointed at the wall clock, “When the big hand and the little hand on the clock are both pointing thtwaight up, then it’th time to get weddy to go home,” because, his Head Start program had always been a half day program, don’tcha know. So the Kind Teacher explained AGAIN to little Marquez, “No, honey, that was last year, at Head Start. But you’re 5 years old now. You’re a big boy, and you’re going to Kindergarten, now. And at Kindergarten, we stay as long as the other Big Boys and Girls. We don’t go home till 3:00, which is in three more hours.”
To which, Marquez, a bit perturbed in his five year old heart, replied with his slight lisp, “Well, who the hell thigned me up for thith?”.
Some of us feel that way in our marriages. We had no idea what was headed our way when we said, “I do.” Some of us feel that way in regard to our children: what we dreamed of when we heard that we’d be bringing a child into our family does not match up with the reality of living with this child. This is NOT what we signed up for!
I think God has a word for each of us, in our situation. It came to mind this morning as I was writing this post, and maybe it’s for you. It’s certainly for me, and it’s Isaiah 43:19:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
Have you gone through the old bait and switch somewhere in your life? Things haven’t really gone according to plan? It’s really NOT what you signed up for?
Be open to the new thing that God would do in your life. Ask Him what it might be. Ask for the life giving streams of water that He has promised in the midst of the desert wasteland. Ask for eyes to see what your new role might be. Maybe it’s time to grow some new fur! He has promised to make a way for you, and to give you refreshment on your way. Ask for the faith to believe that He sees you and cares about you, if you’re lacking that, and tell Him that you are going to hold Him to His promises. That’s what I’m doing, anyway.