The Importance of a Sassy Cat and a Dirty Couch

Author:  Rachelle Rieke
So, forgive me if what you’re about to read seems to be a little unpolished. Unpolished and perhaps a smidge more flagrant than might be expected. It is in fact, basically a stream-of-consciousness writing (with a little revision here and there for words I like better of course) that was inspired by my cat jumping on my lap. Nevertheless, I thought it worth sharing. Cheers! 
Friendship should be like my relationship with my cat, Pumpkin. He just sauntered up with his hammish, fluffy-cat waddle, jumped into my lap without so much as a “don’t mind if I do”, flopped down (making himself quite comfortable I might add), and proceeded to stick his nose in my lunch. 
No boundaries. No appearances. No words required to know you’re loved. Just realness, trust, loyalty, and a whole lot of sass. Just move in on my space and stay there. Then it really isn’t so much my space anymore but our space. 
I hate when you feel like you’re getting close to a person and then they treat you with a proper politeness or formality. Just hold me at arms length why dontchya?  Like a, “Good day! How are you?” after you’ve been spending a lot of time together. Really? Please just flop down on my couch and start telling me about it as if we were already in the middle of a conversation. Why do we have to start over every time? Are we all too insecure with ourselves and others to be able to just be ourselves? Let me tell you, all that politeness crap is exactly that. It’s crap. It’s an appearance we masquerade behind to disguise our true selves. Am I saying our true selves are rude? Not at all (well, maybe sometimes). I’m saying our true selves are begging to be real and to interact with someone else real. The someone that is hidden behind that overt politeness or professionalism or religiosity for that matter. Raise your freak flag high! It’s like the traditions of religion. The traditions are a pretty outside shell. They aren’t the heart. 
I think back to high school. You know you have a close friendship and you know you’re being you when you don’t knock on the door anymore when you go over to hang out. You might in fact dramatically throw open the door and announce yourself in the most obnoxious way you can think of. “Hello it’s me!” And then you feel free to rifle through the refrigerator and help yourself. None of that, “may I please have a glass of water” stuff. 
Sure, it starts out with the door-knocking and sweetly asking for glasses of water or “may I please use the bathroom?”. Of course it must. But it’s not meant to remain that way. My friend’s family actually gave me a nickname after a couple times of me politely declining dinner because I “didn’t want to impose.” The nickname is Monroe. Suffice it to say that it’s an inside joke, however it does carry the meaning of, “Stop knocking on the door, silly, and just come in. And while you’re at it, kick off your shoes and hang up your coat (or throw it on the floor, whatever) and stay awhile. Be yourself.” I did stay for dinner. I’m so happy I did. Accepting the invitation evolved into dinners in the living room and laughing so hard that red Koolaid came out my nose. Right onto their couch. Oops. However, I would say we were all a lot better and happier people with a stained couch than the circumstances required for a clean one, though I suppose I can be a little more careful about my timing next time I take a drink of red Koolaid. 
Shouldn’t that be our approach with all people? And shouldn’t that especially be our approach to Jesus? It’s easy to get caught up on “being polite,” aka doing what you’re supposed to do and saying what you’re supposed to say. Maybe He’s really just interested in putting the appearances away, so we can really see who He is and let Him see us. I think He would say, “You don’t need to be polite. Just be you. I’d rather be with you on a dirty couch than have a pristine one without you.”
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