Friday, June 15, 2012

Love letter

I love this picture, even though it is an artwork with a deliberate theme—refuge. It is an image of the care of a father for a son. I want to be that kind of father, but I don't think I have succeeded. That is the kind of father I want, and the kind I want to be, like the father who wrote this letter to his son, whom he hadn't seen for a long time. The best father any man can hope to be, is one who tries to love like the Father loves.

Dear Son,
I have been praying for you this morning and asking the Lord to help you, to comfort you and to give you confidence and save you from the evil one, who attacks you to make you think badly of yourself, so that you will hide yourself from the Lord, and from me. Always remember, Son, that our heavenly Father really is our loving Father, that He knows everything we go through, everything we feel, everything we desire or think we desire. He knows our mistakes and He understands them. He knows our weaknesses. He watches us when we do good things, and when we do things that are not good. But He knows and loves us no matter what we do, as long as we keep running to Him for strength, for forgiveness, for understanding, for love.

I am not God, and I am not your heavenly Father. I am just a man like you. But I do what I see Jesus doing, and Jesus does what He sees the Father doing. He comes to us to show us the Father, and to demonstrate the love of the Father. Watch Jesus closely, Son, and follow Him. Follow me, too, and imitate me, as long as you see that I am also following Jesus. Let's follow Him together. Let's keep our eyes on Him, you and me, son and father, both of us children, sons, of our heavenly Father, brothers of our liberator and savior and teacher, Jesus.

Never fear to say to me, ‘I have to confess.’ It doesn't matter what it is that you must confess, because whether I have an answer for you that I can tell you in writing, you know that my arms are holding you, and my heart loving you, and that you are clean to me, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, clean. Your thoughts, or your deeds, good or bad, are just happenings, they are on the surface, but what you are, and who you are, are always the same, always clean, because Christ has washed you in His own precious Blood, and that washing stays forever. Christ loves you infinitely, and I, as a man, and as your father on earth, love you, welcome you, approve of you, and want you, just as He does.

I know that sometimes you will fall under weakness, that does not change anything. I fall under weakness too. Son, this is the human condition. Do not let weakness define you, but define yourself by the bright brilliance of the light of Christ, whose righteousness is your righteousness, who swallows you up, your strengths and your weaknesses, your successes and your failures, in His limitless love, in His love that has no limits. He is never tired of us, or impatient with us, or angry with us, and not even disappointed in us. Why? Because He sees and knows us as we really are, and He knows that all these limitations and weaknesses and failures of ourselves are going to be removed forever, in fact, in act, in will, even in memory, when this life is over, and when we join Him in the life to come.

It is your faith, Son, that must carry you over the thorny path and get you through all obstacles, even through the ones you yourself place in your path, but also those that the world places there, to catch you, to trip you, to damage you, to annoy you, to frighten you, to disappoint you, all to make you lose your faith, but I am telling you, like the scriptures say, ‘Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.’ Believe the words of holy and divine scripture, and believe the humble words of your father who loves you, yes, your dad who loves you, yes, you know I do, just as I know that you love me, that you love God, that you love Christ, that you love righteousness, even when you out of weakness, fall. That falling is part of learning to walk, Son, beloved Son, you are learning to walk, just as sometimes your blindness is part of learning to see.

Everything we do here in this life is partial, nothing of it is perfect, nothing complete or whole, everything, everything is partial. That is the human condition. Never despair, never give up hope, never deny faith. Never stop loving. Never stop loving, Son, no matter what it looks like from the outside.

I love you, Son, and I keep you with me always, and we will be together very soon. No matter what happens, remember who you are, in Christ, and who you belong to.

Love you, always,

1 comment:

Jim Swindle said...

Thank you for sharing this powerful letter.