When a story about a husband and a cat isn’t really about those two at all, it’s about the author and the lens through which she views her world.
Last week I wrote about the relationship between my husband and cat, alluding to what I hope was a deeper connection to the tale of a wounded heart and the beginning of healing. Now that Saturday-Post-Day is here, with every piece of my intelligence, I do not wish to follow through with ‘Part Two.’
Libby, “Oath of God.”
In the recovery of a broken marriage, Libby-cat has become an object of soothing affection. She has been a source of comfort, and a place to practice seeing a gentle connection where there has been deep pain. In my darkness I was given a promise of contentment. Yes, a cat is a strange place to experience a connection with my Creator, and with my spouse. However, her presence here is a story of promise and of redemption.
God’s oath, or vow, to me as I struggled through the darkest months of my year and bonded with my cat was this: Isaiah 54:10, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
This isn’t a promise of ease, it doesn’t diminish the hell of brokenness, it doesn’t offer health and wellness; and yet, in the midst of soul-crushing wounding…it shields. God didn’t say to me, ‘You shall suffer no pain, and know no sorrow.’ He offered a connection to a truth that spoke the story of deep-seated peace and contentment. Admittedly, there were more days and weeks and months of complete despair than I would wish on any soul. Days when my body took over and reacted to stress, when I would scream and be blinded by shear pain. And yet. My God redeems.
Psychology believes it to be resilience.
Faith knows it to be Grace.
When my husband holds Libby she simultaneously purrs and resists. I see myself in that action: wanting so desperately to be held close and needing the affection. At the very same moment not withstanding the nearness and offering complaint loudly. How often I have felt this paradox of stand near me/you’re not safe.
As a daily companion she reminds me of the nearness of God’s grace in my story.
Libby’s presence has given me a place to find joy; the belly-laugh type of joy. She’s given me a place to direct the emotional dissonance of a broken relationship. A place to focus my attention, to practice reconnecting, to observe my husband practice gentleness and attachment where I had lost eyes to see.
Libby is just a cat, she’s also therapy.