Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pollen, Pets & the Promise of Easter

I adore the blooms of Springtime in Georgia--the warm sun, splashes of color on gentle petals and pops of new green growth--but the pollen is absolutely brutal. We are all sniffly with scratchy throats, but my R's allergy-induced asthma makes him especially miserable, which takes its toll on the rest of us. :)

Trying to learn something from every experience God allows on this Earth, I was thinking about pollen as yet another example of something that brings life--and misery--sometimes simultaneously. The very mechanism that brings beautiful blossoms means breathing treatments, headaches and sleepless nights.

You take the good with the bad--because while a world without breathing treatments would be nice, if it came at the expense of Spring even my stuffy, coughing boy wouldn't take that trade.

Similarly, we are dealing with the loss of our precious little orange kitten, Leo. He disappeared without a trace two weeks ago today.

We've scoured the neighborhood, posted flyers, prayed and hoped. One of the teachers at school shared with my K about a boy kitty she had, similarly aged, who also disappeared after being neutered only to return 13 days later. With that story of hope, my trio shelved their 'dealing with it' until today--day 14.

My animal loving P's heart is flat broken. Tonight he sobbed as he recounted every story he could remember of Leo's 6 month old life. We flipped through pictures and my little man honored his memories of our kitty. P lamented that he was planning to teach Leo to high five the next day (when he disappeared.) He recalled how his fur felt, how his purr sounded and a story about one time when Leo slept all night in his bed without our knowledge.
Through sniffles he earnestly asserted, "It was a looong night, but it was worth it."

As I knelt at the side of P's bed there was a part of me that wanted to rush my boy through the pain...make him some promise that it would all be OK. But that wasn't true. He's lost his beloved pet and his heart hurts. That is real life.

So I listened and loved and hugged. I sighed, gulped, prayed silently, and couldn't help but note that this was the first of many of heartbreaks I will have the agonizing privilege of walking through with my children.

Gut wrenching...but part of the deal.

The very tenderness and love we have prayed the Lord would cultivate in our childrens' hearts--leaves them vulnerable to the inevitable heartbreak of a broken world.

And I am pointed back to Easter. Christmas is a glorious celebration that Jesus came to this world to dwell among us. Easter is the brutal reason He had to leave.

Honestly, I don't enjoy Holy Week. As an optimist, walking through the darkness and hopelessness the witnesses of the events felt makes me squirmy. I don't want to linger in the dark parts, I want to fast forward to the celebration Resurrection Sunday...but doing so cheapens the very thing we celebrate.

And it is the same with the struggles, hardships and heartbreak of life.

Those who have struggled to catch their breath have a greater appreciation of breathing freely.
We embrace Spring because it's been a long, cold Winter.
And we hold tight to those we love because we know we aren't promised their presence tomorrow.

We fall on our faces in gratitude for the gift of life that cost Jesus His--and that we could never, ever achieve for ourselves.

Lord, I pray I won't rush through the uncomfortable--of Holy Week or of life. May I, instead, look for your Reedeming Hand in it all. You are worthy of my trust.


Mary Anne said...

Thank you for this post! Something I needed to hear. I pray that your sweet kitty returns to your family!

Denise Ross said...

So very true, it's a hard road but necessary. Life skills with faith at the head