Ginger spent time during our vacation at "Nancy Camp" - the home of a dear friend. During her time there she was treated royally. I had mentioned to Nancy that Ginger was a cat that demanded lots of attention. But I didn't expect that they would spend nearly an hour stretched out together on the floor while Ginger received her daily dose of 'love". When she returned home, Ginger made it clear that this was a new tradition that she expected would continue.
Who has an hour to pet a cat?
The first day, I thought, OK, let's see if I can do this while working on the computer. No go. She sat square on the keyboard.
So I tried to get some calls in during her "love" session. Recognizing that I was less than fully committed to petting her, she began to meow insistantly, making it impossible to talk.
Finally I stopped trying to do two things at once. As it turned out, she didn't require a full hour. Once I gave her what she asked for, - uninterrupted face time, - five minutes sufficed. Or maybe she kindly let me off the hook, realizing that five minutes of undivided attention from me is a LOT.
I am still a multi-tasker and will likely continue to be. However, I think there is something to be said for giving one's full attention when it comes to love and care.
A blind man named Bartimaeus was among a crowd waiting for Jesus as he left the city of Jericho en route to Jerusalem. Jesus had just finished an extended teaching session. Betrayal and crucifixion were near on the horizon. Yet for all that he had on his mind, Jesus stopped to give his full attention to Bartimaeus.
The Message paraphrase of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10 recounts, "When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, 'Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!'
"Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, 'Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!'
"Jesus stopped in his tracks. 'Call him over.'
"They called him. Jesus said, 'What can I do for you?'
"The blind man said, 'Rabbi, I want to see.'
"'On your way,' said Jesus. 'Your faith has saved and healed you.'
In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road."
"Jesus stopped in his tracks." I think the following words of Mary Baker Eddy signal something of the stillness and single-minded focus that Jesus generously gave to Bartimaeus. She wrote,"The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action." (Retrospection and Introspection, 93)
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