Friday, June 18, 2010

Utter Dependence

Yes, I admit it.

My love affair with rats began when I was in grade six. It was the last day of school and "Al" was about to be sent to the vet to be euthanized. He was a white rat whose home had been in one of the school classrooms.

"Oh don't do that!" I cried, and offered to take him, cage and all, home with me. Thus I discovered the intelligence, quirkiness, and absolute cuteness of the humble rat. Albino Al would do little tricks I taught him... and as long as he lived in the house, the wild mice avoided our house like the plague. (Oh, that was a bad rat pun.) My mother liked that the mice stayed away, even if she didn't like the smell of his cage.

So when my oldest daughter decided over a year ago that she wanted to get a couple of female rats (they are social creatures so if you get two, make sure they're both female - males will fight and one of each will start a rat farm) I agreed and we set up the habitat for them.

It's amazing how quickly one can become attached to them, how they chatter their teeth when they're content, how they wash their little faces and groom each other.

But the night before last, one of them had a fairly serious stroke and can no longer get around by herself. She can't eat seeds (can't coordinate her chewing), and can't climb the bars of the cage or even walk in a straight line. She mostly shoves herself around on one side. So my daughter took it upon herself, since all this little critter needed was to be taken care of, to take care of her. She spoon-feeds home-made soft food to her. It's a mixture of ground-up rodent pellets, banana, tapioca pudding, and raspberries or strawberries. Little Tsuri (pronounced Surrey) loves it. She shoves her face in it and licks until it's all gone. She takes water out of a medicine syringe because she can't reach her water bottle.

This is a picture of utter dependence. She doesn't understand why she can't make her body do what it's supposed to do. But she is grateful for her caretaker and she accepts without question the food and water, the washing, the physiotherapy, and the stroking that we give to her. Without this care, given to her with no expectation that she will be able to play or participate in the relationship, she would starve to death.

That's us. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are absolutely powerless to effect any change in our lives, and we are completely dependent on God. It is from His mercy that we are not left to our own devices - to die. He loves us that much. Nothing we can do will make Him love us any more ... or less. He is patient enough to let us make a mess of ourselves when we try to do the right things and fail miserably, and longsuffering enough to clean us up and help us do things we have no way of doing on our own. Like everything.

What a wonderful Saviour!!

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