Sunday, November 11, 2012

Unconditional Love

Tonight I had coffee with my parents, just a casual hang-out.  We talked about an art project I'd done, about a book my dad is writing, about my new haircut, about what's going on in their church--a new pastor, and a new vision for social engagement.  We talked about church, about faith, a topic we often come to, and one that (for a time) created an unspoken distance between us.  It was nobody's fault, really.  In my adulthood, I've drifted from the church, and it has remained an important part of their lives.  We often disagree on tenets of belief, but we share a common sense of compassion, of softness regarding how we live in the world, how we view and treat others, what we do with our lives.

And we share that bond of family that I can only describe as unconditional love.  As I hugged them and said goodbye, I was struck by a thought about my parents...They love me regardless of what I believe.  And I love them regardless of what they believe.  Our love has no asterisks, no conditions.

I feel tremendously fortunate to have this kind of relationship with my parents, and I credit it to two things that have become important in my family: compassion and honesty.  We may disagree, but we are honest with each other and we have compassion for one another that is born out of lived experience...my depression, my mom's cancer, my dad's career changes.  We are different people, from different generations, with different world views, but we share a bond of love that is unconditional.

I'm not sure what I believe about God, but I tend to take the view of David Foster Wallace, that if there is a God, then he/she/it speaks and acts entirely though human beings.  In this way, my parents show me the love of God.



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