While our kids were still kids, my daughter had a cat she named Gwen. Yes, we are cat people. We’ve had dogs, loved dogs, but we just had too many that were lost, stolen, or run over. So, if we have a pet, it’s a cat. And, we’ve had many cats over the years, but Gwen was unusual, in a good way.
Gwen was a family cat. She liked to spend time with each of us. She knew our personalities, so she uniquely interacted with each member of our family. Playfully, teasingly, or, in my case, quietly, each day Gwen flowed through our home, making her rounds, investing in each of us.
One of my fondest memories of Gwen is when I’d be on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, sleeping to sounds of football, and she would crawl up on my chest and just lay there, purring. Not just for a minute or two but as long as I’d let her. Her quiet presence surrounded us. She never stopped purring; a constant, quiet rumble from her on my chest enveloped us.
Psalms 32:10 (Living Bible) reads, “Many sorrows come to the wicked, but abiding love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.” If we trust in God, His love surrounds like Gwen’s rumbling. We can feel God’s love. His presence is upon us and in us. Though chaos may reign all around, the love of Christ encompasses us and brings us quiet comfort.
As with all pets, Gwen eventually passed away. The small burial service we held for Gwen, in the backyard of our home, was brief but a communal sadness memorialized the impact she had made on each of us. Even more so, I have memories of the times God’s love has surrounded me, times when I could tangibly feel His presence. Births, deaths, car accidents, helping and being helped, breakthroughs and hard times. Jesus, my Lord, has pulled me to Him and provided me with a quiet comfort, surrounding me with His enduring love.