A cat show is held each October in New York’s Madison Square Garden. A reporter asked owners about the relative attributes of different breeds. A silver spotted Egyptian Mau apparently loves to swim. “If you don’t want him in the shower or bathtub, you’d better close the door,” said one owner. “Sadly, the black Bombay has nothing fancy to offer,” said another. “Unlike a lot of the cats here, the Bombay doesn’t do anything. He has no skills. He just is.”
On hand for the occasion was therapist Carole Wilbourn. For £200 she’ll come to your home and offer your cat relaxation therapy. She didn’t seem to be doing much business. “Does this cat look like he needs a therapist?” asked the owner of a huge fluffy Persian sprawled on a table. “If he got any more relaxed, he’d be dead.”
It’s no wonder cats that are being cared for and loved with such dedication don’t need therapy. The apple of their owner’s eyes, what is there to cause them stress? There is none of the pressure human beings feel to provide for their own needs, to respond to the requirements of others, to justify their existence by productive activity.
In our more complicated lives, we need to discover ways of dealing with tension. Many people know from experience that when they are the apple of someone else’s eye, as daughter, son, lover, parent, friend, this provides a context for living in which life takes on a more relaxed perspective. For many of us, our mothers were the first people to give us this experience.
Each of us is also the apple of God’s eye. We can receive that kind of totally accepting regard from God, even when we have nothing fancy to offer. God’s care for us doesn’t always amount to the kind of physical pampering received by the cats on display in New York but basking in the delight of being loved by God can have a deeply relaxing effect.
Read: Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17.8)
Rejoice: in any experience we’ve had of being really loved.
Reflect: Do I feel I have to perform well to be loved??
Remember: Even if I feel I have no skills, it’s enough just to be.
Resolve: to bask today in God’s unconditional love for me.