Readers of this blog have seen the antics of our Applehead Siamese Cat, Buff, who in his day braved both photographers and the high seas. Shortly after we left Palm Beach for Boynton Beach he taught us yet another important life lesson, and as usual he did it the hard way.
Florida living has some unique benefits. One of those is those screened in porches (screened to keep the mosquitoes out) with access from the house through sliding glass doors. The climate makes sitting out on them a delight. We didn’t have them in our house in Palm Beach but we certainly did in Boynton Beach.
We bought the house new, so my mother (recovering from back surgery) had to decorate it. One of the things you do with sliding glass doors is to purchase these “peel and stick” appliqués and put them about eye level so people won’t run into the door. (The alternative is to keep the door so dirty no one can miss them, but…) She did this, but she didn’t take into account everyone in the house.
Buff had the delightful habit of running through the house, making a thundering herd kind of noise (this is amazing for animals known for their stealth.) His vision, as is common with Applehead Siamese cats, wasn’t the best, so he didn’t always know where he was going. One night we were sitting around listening to the thundering herd when we heard an unsatisfying thump on the sliding glass door. It seems that Buff, not seeing or caring about the door, had careened into it. He staggered away; he wasn’t himself for several days thereafter.
This incident made its point, so my mother got yet another set of appliqués and put them towards the bottom of the door so Buff could see them before he had another wreck.
In communicating a message to someone, it’s important to deliver it in a way that they can understand and benefit from it. It’s called sometimes “getting down on their level.” That’s what we had to do for poor Buff; appliqués placed high up didn’t do him much good.
When God wanted to redeem people from their sins and make them into the children he intended them to be in the first place, he himself — he did not send someone or something else — came down to be on our level, in Jesus Christ his Son, “Though the divine nature was his from the beginning, yet he did not look upon equality with God as above all things to be clung to, But impoverished himself by taking the nature of a servant and becoming like men; He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death–to death on a cross!” (Phil 2:6-8) “Jesus, in the days of his earthly life, offered prayers and supplications, with earnest cries and with tears, to him who was able to save him from death; and he was heard because of his devout submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)
Some religions tell us that it was not worthy that God come down and live with us, as his Son or otherwise. But the truth remains: the best way to make an alliance between God and people is for God himself to come down on our level, where we could not only behold his glory (John 1:14) but that he could both share and transcend our condition and make a way for us from this life into eternity.