Have you ever tried to tame a stray dog or cat into your pet?
It’s an interesting process.
Food usually becomes the first tool. They aren’t going to come to you because they want to, they will come because they need to. They are hungry.
But even this freely offered food in their world of grabbing bites here and there is viewed cautiously… with suspicion. They usually eat just enough to get by… then scamper quickly away.
This time and feeding increases. Eventually they will eat enough to become full. And when this happens, sometimes they will stay around for a minute or two afterwards.
Gradually they learn to trust you more… to get closer to you. Eventaully, they will come close enough to let you touch them. Gradually you will get to pet them and show them affection before they again quickly scamper off.
And you understand the running. You know it has to do with fear and probably a good deal of past hurt and betrayal. This doesn’t hurt your feelings, as much as you really wish it would stay longer and let you care for it.
But eventually the time comes when they will come, even without the food. They will come not because they need to, but because they want to. They come not because of the food to meet their physical needs, but because of you.
And sometimes…. not frequently, but sometimes… they will eventually decide to stay. They will decide they trust you enough to let their uard down and nap near you and know that you will not harm them. To rest in the safety you provide instead of on their own guard.
To be near you even when they don’t have a particular need. To just be happy to be there with you.
They have become yours.
I find myself wondering how much I act more like a stray human more than being God’s for the sake of being His.