When you said, “seek my face,” my heart said to you “your face I will seek.” Psalm 27:8
October 15, 2011. We had just brought our cat Misty home from the shelter. That night everyone went to bed, and I stayed up late with her. She stood on my lap, put her paws on my chest and looked deep into my eyes as if to ask “is this real? Are you my family? Is this my home?” She sought reassurance, comfort, and security. I told her, yes, you are home, you belong here now, you are safe, it is okay to relax. Seven years, two months and fourteen days later, I held her as she transitioned to whatever home awaits her next. But during that time she was home, and she was a valued and loved member of this family.
Now, Eliot has entered our lives and our home, along with his sister Aria. Everything Eliot does is done with intensity, whether it’s playing, eating, sleeping, or grooming. Every morning, as I sit in bed with my coffee and devotions, Eliot comes for a cuddle. He climbs up on my chest and demands attention. He shoves his face into my hands, begging me to rub his itchy places. His eyes hold love, devotion, and trust in them. When he’s had enough, his needs satisfied for the moment, he scampers off or just moves down the bed to bite my toes through the blankets.
I think about these two cats who loved so easily and sought out assurance and security by climbing up into my lap. Where are you seeking assurance and security? Whose lap are you crawling up into?
In Washington, D.C., there are two laps which remind me of God. The first is the Lincoln Memorial, where a larger than life Abraham Lincoln looks down towards the Washington Memorial and beyond to the Capitol. In college I spent many evenings at his feet. He watches over the city from his throne, formal, impersonal, rigid. There is a presence about him, immovable and solid.
The second lap is more approachable. It is that of Albert Einstein. He’s easier to miss, harder to find. Tucked behind some trees on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences sits a bronze sculpture of a wise grandfather. He’s slumped, slightly rumpled, and you can climb up and sit in his lap. I have done it many times.
God is a little of both: full of awe and wonder, majestic and on his throne, and yet, also approachable, kind, and loving to those who seek his face or who dare to climb up onto his lap.
Misty’s fast and premature death showed me that time is one of our most precious resources. How are you using yours? Whose face are you looking to with trust and devotion? Whose lap are you climbing up into? I pray that you seek the face and heart of God with the same trust and devotion as our animals give us. Let God be your source of care, protection, provision, companionship and joy. He wants to be all those things for us. Seek his face.