There are moments that give me pause, during which I question my breadth of understanding about all things this side of Heaven. These moments, these pauses, oftentimes involve my cat. For instance, I laid out a new pair of pants that I ordered for my husband’s birthday, complete with receipt. Don’t want to lose that! I left them there for him to discover, try on and decide. The kitchen called, or more specifically - a snack of the sweet variety came to mind - so off I went. When I returned later, for whatever reason now forgotten, there he was:
That receipt couldn’t be comfortable, but he could hardly be bothered to lift his eyes as I asked him what the heck he thought he was doing. And then there I am. I don’t understand. I frustrate myself with questions like, is he messing with me? Marking the pants? Keeping them warm? Is it a sign of love? Dominance? I’ll never know. Best to leave it at that, because Kitty Meow confounds and amuses me often. If it’s new or in a new place, he’s on it. He’s either a huge flirt or a real life pillow pet. I’m undecided. But man, he stole my heart some 10 years ago.
Have you ever had one of those moments? You know, a real one, when for the life of you, you can’t wrap your mind around what is going on? Literally can't grasp a single thought of understanding? Life catches you off guard with a crisis, a tragedy? Or someone behaves so awfully that despite hours of contemplation, you’re left with nothing but the certainty that you’ll never understand, never know, not this side of Heaven?
This happens to me a lot. This world confounds me much more than handsome Kitty Meow. I feel like an alien. I trust nothing here. Not wholly. What a relief to understand why. I’m telling you, the only solace I can find here is in the Word. It answers my unanswerable questions. It soothes my agitated heart. Even the case of Kitty Meow and the pants.
Jesus, while praying for us, confirmed that we are not of this world any more than He is of this world (John 17:6), and He’s pretty clear about His Kingdom, that it is not of this world, but of another place (John 18:36). And Peter reiterates this truth when he urges us as “aliens and strangers in this world” to “keep away from worldly desires that wage war against our very souls” (1 Peter 2:11). I wonder if wanting to know is a worldly desire. Because I really desire to know...everything. Not knowing bothers me. There’s something so comforting about knowing why I feel the way I feel. Though it might sound odd, it’s such a comfort to know a name for my pain, whether it be fibromyalgia or epilepsy or heartache. Understanding the "why" lightens the burden, if only a little.
But knowing why I've felt like an outsider all of my life has been world-changing, because it’s not just the "why" I feel the way I feel, it’s the remedy. I don’t belong here, but I do belong. I belong to Him, and so I’ll keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Of Him I am certain. He is the only certain thing I know.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).