A Letter to My Prodigal Daughter. 8-19-12
Sorry I missed last Sunday. The heat wave has been very hard on me. I struggle every day to get through and to accomplish something that justifies my existence. I have had some good times with family, but I have been unable to do enough even In this most basic area.
As you know, I have been in a very slowly, but very steadily deteriorating state of health since I was 6. This pattern was spread over years when I was younger, but accelerated as I matured. Then something strange and hopeful happened. Starting about 6 years ago, I began to very slowly suffer less. It has been 6 years since I totally lost days from my life. I still lose them, but now I know the time has passed, though it seems to pass at an incredible rate.
Not in 6 years have I thought I had one bad night on Monday, only to discover that it was now Thursday, not Tuesday. Neither have I been forced in those 6 years to crawl to the toilet, carefully watching my hands reach out and touch the floor, because if I even glance away from them, I fall over.
But the trend toward improvement only lasted a few years. The progress froze and then I began to deteriorate again. This reversal began when you tried to force me to choose between you and my other children. I am losing the gains I made. From the age of 6 to the age of 57, I deteriorated. Then I amazingly began to improve, reversing a pattern which had held constant for 51 years. Then you began to wound and injure me. You have made a good job of it. I am again on the old path downward into more and more suffering.
You make a great show of your faith. So I must ask, is this what a Christian does? When did Christ say, "Blessed are the vengeful."? Where does the Bible, Old or New Testament, allow a daughter to injure her father so harshly? Did He not say that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit? Yet the fruit of your actions is suffering and injury. How is it that such a devout Christian daughter is so cruel?
I love you, and I always will. I want only peace and joy for you. I most definitely do not want justice for you. You have sown the wind, but I pray that you will never reap the whirlwind. Why do you do harm to me? Does it please you to know how much you have injured me? If you have a sense of shame, if you regret your rage, then put it out of your house. Say what you will, put on a fine Christian costume, but your actions are what matters. Be not a whited sepulcher, but a living testament to love, forgiveness, and obedience.
It is too late to undo the suffering you have already inflicted, but you can stop inflicting more. You can turn away from harming and turn to healing. You can stop looking like a Christian and start living like one.
I love you. Please stop hurtling me. My body already makes my life painful and hard enough you do not need to make things worse.
Please stop hurting me.