My granddaughter, Sydney, had wanted a bunny for a pet for a long time. So much so that, when our neighbor asked what she wanted for her birthday, and she told her about the desired bunny, she said her mom probably wouldn’t let her have one. But she should consider it as a possibility anyway. The asking for forgiveness is better than asking permission philosophy. That brought smiles and understanding nods from our kind neighbor. And with those nods was the unstated reality that all pets require constant care, cleaning and attention. Except, of course, turtles, which seem to be able to be forgotten completely and yet can still live in dirty water with no food for an indeterminate amount of time. That’s another story.
It just so happened that I had to pick up dog food for our current resident pooch, Frisco, who belongs to my daughter’s family. It was the day the pet shop had their adoption/rescue pets available, with their sad eyes begging for a home and their kind human friends encouraging unprepared grandmas to consider what a fine addition this or that pet would make to a home. And, yes, there was a bunny there, a four month old female, black as coal, named Sandy.
Having gotten permission to get the bunny, (Surprised that I asked? So was I.) I brought her home, cleaned her cage and was rather amazed at how sweet this little animal was. When the grandkids returned home, Sydney was delighted with her bunny, which she quickly renamed Midnight. (Apart from the obvious hue, Sandy happens to be the name of my son-in-law’s mother. I think she appreciated the gesture.) Everyone has enjoyed the bunny, for the most part.
For two weeks.
This morning, Sydney’s complaint was that her brothers never helped clean the cage or feed the rabbit. And Midnight is so messy! Isn’t that just like any pet. All fun and games until they poop. And poop they do. As I stood in front of her cage, I saw the poop inside, the poop outside on the carpet, the poop in her water bowl, the poop in her food. A plethora of poop. And I had to laugh.
This was such a great visual of my “stuff” and messiness. My tip of the iceberg–I have a knack for spreading my messiness over wide areas, involving many people, mostly family and friends, more than I want to admit or think about. And I desperately want these important people in my life to treat me and my “stuff” with more kindness rather than criticism, more graciousness rather than guilt-casting. The laughter came from realizing that, in many ways, I behave like the bunny–the indiscriminate throwing around of my personal stuff and clutter. My own plethora of poop.
But God understands my predisposition to messiness, my innate tendency to destroy the very things I truly care about. And He dealt with it. Once and for all. Because of His love for me. Not because of what I am able to bring to the table, not for what I can do, but because He has chosen to love me. Messiness and all. Do I understand the extent of that unconditional, unending love? Do I really grasp the depth of His joy and delight in me? Not even close. But I’m relishing the opportunity to grow in that understanding. Even as I deal with my stuff. Poop and all.