I brought Tea home from the vet today. She was not doing so well there. Despite 3 days of IV solution, she still has jaundice and low energy and little appetite. The vet told me to take her home. If I cannot get her to eat and drink, she will die. The vet also said that Tea is special: she needs people and love and attention, and they can't give too much of that in a hospital setting- they can only administer drugs and treatments. Without love, she does not do well. So my assignment is to shower her with affection, provide an environment where she knows she is cared for and not alone, and get food and water into her at regular intervals. If she responds to that, she has a fighting chance of surviving.
This is so basic and so true and quite remarkable that a vet would see that medicine cannot do what love can. Without knowing that we are loved, we wane and lose our zest for life. Last night at home group we talked about how to get over self-centredness. The solution is simple and difficult: instead of resorting to self-reliance, getting caught up in comparison, being trapped in self-delusion, entangled in the endless circle of self-absorption, and being overly self-critical, finding it hard to see the positive in ourselves, we must view ourselves the way God sees us. We must see ourselves in relation, always in relation, to God and to others. God looks at us with great affection, compassion, and a burning desire for us to be whole and free and alive and mature. This agreement with God is called humility and it is a very rare and attractive trait indeed. It is standing in great need while dancing in a torrent of grace and mercy. And it is the only way we will not die.
My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. - from Galatians 2 in The Message
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you....Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. - from Romans 12 in The Message
Live, Tea, Live! Live, Matte, Live!
This is a fire in our fireplace, right next to where Tea is resting on the bed.