“Yuck!” I spit out the stale spice and proceeded to scrub my tongue with my shirt. Things went from nasty to horrid as the fresh taste of salt from the sweat that had absorbed into my shirt began to overpower the taste that lingered in my mouth. I began to cry.
Why God? You know I never meant to hurt anyone. Just as the thought came, so did my cat, Acacia Wood. She looked worse than I did. Her sides sunk into her backbone. Her ribs protruded far out on both sides of her body, and her once full and shiny coat was now more like a thin, overused anorak, worn out by weather and time. She walked towards me and I couldn’t help but see our resemblance one to another.
I remembered the day I named her. I searched through the Bible for a word that I connected with. While reading the specifications given to Israelites on how to build the Ark of the Covenant, I came across the specific instructions to
“… Make an ark of acacia wood… You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it.”
Acknowledging this and understanding I too had found a four-footed friend to commit too, one that was precious and should be cherished, calling her Acacia Wood just seemed right. In naming her, I didn’t realize that I would one day look at this same four-legged friend and be reminded of my own personal failed commitments to both her and God. Watching her walk towards me when I’d clearly abandoned my pledge to love and care for her sickened me. There was nothing I possessed that could prove that I had anything resembling a legitimate personal relationship with either one of them and it was embarrassing. The unconditional love walking towards me made absolutely no sense, but I guess me walking away from it really didn’t make much sense either. The old Scripture that says the flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak was something I understood all too well.
Acacia Wood stopped directly in front of me as though she finally had an opinion on what was happening to us. After it was clear to me that she most certainly did and that I was in fact obligated to pay attention to nothing other than her, I hung my head in shame. I had the knowledge of God and had been refusing to use it. She meowed loudly as though she somehow agreed with the conclusion I came to in my mind. It was this very moment, I remembered the rest of the instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant, the “Mercy Seat” and symbol of God’s presence with His people.
“And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give you.”
Excerpt #2: Book Title: Against the Grain
Jenny’s Personal Testimony