12 August 2009

Tender Loving Care


(My daughter's guinea pig)

I'm not sure why... but there is something wonderful about holding a small creature and taking care of it. A little, vulnerable being so utterly dependent on us. Needing simple things that we can provide... food, water, shelter, cleaning, protection, companionship.

Reliant upon our mercy.

It has been said that how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst is a great indicator of our character. Of course, there are much more important examples of "the least of these" than guinea pigs (this comes to mind, for example), but it is also true of God's creatures who look to us for their needs. There is something that melts hardness within when we hold them. When we realize that they simply trust us. It may only be the result of conditioning and instinct, but our response to them is much more. And we would not wish to betray that simple trust.

Great things in us often come to the surface in little ways. The more we hold, play, notice... the more we enjoy these little ones. It is our joy to attend to their basic needs. We receive something in return we may not even fully understand. We seek out time with them, gazing into their beady eyes and wondering what, if anything, is going on in that tiny brain. There is a tenderness that grows in us as we are careful to remember that they are living beings to be respected, not toys to be used merely for our amusement. There is a sweet little hush in our spirit when they slowly fall asleep in our embrace.

We simply enjoy them.

How like our Heavenly Father. We are so fragile and dependent on His mercies. And yet He doesn't bestow his care disdainfully or merely out of cold duty. There is something that stirs and warms His heart when we are close to Him. He seeks us out. When we simply give ourselves to His care. And trust. And rest in Him.

He enjoys caring for us. He enjoys us.

And He loves it when we, as His little children, simply rest in His hands.

No comments: