Today’s post comes to us from our poetry editor, Lisa G. Lisa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her cat and assorted familial humans. She loves green, God, and puddles of sun. And of course, lots of great poetry flowing into Segullah’s 2011 poetry contest: http://journal.segullah.org/contests/#poetrycontest. Write on!
My cat likes to bring me gifts. Baby rabbits, limp and warm. Headless moles. Birds, with broken necks and feathers strewn all over the doormat. Once, she caught a snake and deposited it—complete with tooth-holes and flapping scales—with great pride on the feline altar.
She is quite proud of her hunting prowess, my darling little cat. And she loves me. Thus the gifts. She wants to please me, bring me something hard-won and precious. She wants my approval, my acceptance of her very best work.
But I don’t like her gifts. Sometimes the baby bunnies are still alive and we always try, one more time, to save them by wrapping them in soft towels and laying them on a pillow. Until they die. Always. And we bury one more. The moles are just messy and with gloved hands, we toss them into the bushes. Both pieces. The fragmented birds are the most trouble to clean up, feathers flying, floating away from reach.
What I really like is when my cat comes just to sit with me a while. I love the smell of her soft fur, all outdoorsy, fresh as line-dried linen. She rubs her little face on my neck and kneads my chest with happy soft paws. Then she pads around in circles a few times, curls up in my arms, and rests, purring, perfectly content. No mangled animals. No mess. No attempt at impressing me with her accomplishments. Just purring and praise.
I wonder if that’s all God wants—a little purring and praise in his presence. Maybe He’s not really impressed with the gifts of “righteousness” I keep bringing to the altar, my mangled attempts to be “worthy.” My deepest prayers pour forth from a heart full of praise. I simply bask in His grace, curled up in His loving embrace, perfectly content just to be.
Just like my cat.
What is your experience with deep prayer? How do you praise God?