Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What owning pets can teach us about agape love

My dog is an idiot.

And my cat is mean.

And I love them both to pieces.

My dog, Callie, really wants us to love her. ALWAYS. Which means ALL THE TIME. Which means SCRATCH ME PLEASE SCRATCH ME I LOVE YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THE END.
And my cat, Jack, would really like us to feed him, for which he will deign to bite us delicately, rather than biting us with intent to maim. (He's so kind and condescending. Sort of like Lady Catherine de Burgh.)

But they're both lovely animals, actually. In their own ways, they're desperate for attention and care, and they give back the affection their natures allow them, and they make our lives better with their presence and their sheer, stupid energy.

And it made me think: I can kind of get agape love a little better since I'm the owner of goofy Callie and supercilious Jack.

Pets vs. Humans
Sometimes it's easier to love imperfections like a bitey cat than to love imperfections like a gossipy tongue. It's easier to love my stupid dog than it is to love . . . well . . . stupid humans.

Animals are simple. They have their own personalities, sure, but the eat-prey-love drives are pretty surface and easy to understand in all of them.

Humans are anything but simple. Even at ninety years old, can you hope to really know yourself? Really?

But, see, I love my pets. I don't expect them to be something other than they are (though I sometimes hope).  And I feed my cat on the days he scratches up the carpet the same as on the days that he purrs happily while I pet him (this is a rare occasion with our persnickety formerly-feral feline).

And I guess that's how I should love people. Because we're all sometimes cranky or stupid. And we hope the people who are meant to love us love us still.

God helping us. Amen.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

1 comment:

becca said...

That and most of us are still feral. ;)