Java (my dog) and Earl (my cat) are friends. They enjoy playing with one another, which involves the dog lying on her side play biting as the cat paws and bites. This goes back and forth until the cat sprints off and the dog chases and they find another spot in the house to continue the sparring. There is a difference in the way they play, though they are both playing. Earl is intense and sinks his teeth into the velvety ears of Java; Earl draws blood and leaves marks and though he is ¼ the size of Java his play is wrought with intensity and is always on the line of serious. Java on the other hand withholds the force of her strength and power and while she could snap the cats neck in a moment she is gentle and absorbs the blows with softness and kindness.
Like I said, Java and Earl are friends and yet their friendship rests on an inequitable balance absorbed by the kindness of one over the other. As I walk along the path of this life I am painfully aware that I am both a Java to some and an Earl to others. Sometimes I’m the fierce inflictor of pain relying on the mercy of another to absorb the insult and at other times I absorb the pain and hurt and lashes of another in order to maintain the balance. Daily I am aware that Jesus has done this for me once and for all and that no matter what I do it will never earn His friendship; but His friendship is an inequitable absorption of all my hurts, fears, failures and strayings.
What a friend I have in Jesus.