Sunday, September 9, 2012
A Letter to My Prodigal Daughter 9-9-12
This Sunday, let me speak of love. Love is not a zero sum game in which there is a limited quantity of a resource which must be allocated on the basis of one person's gains constitute another's loss. The more love which is given out, the more there is to distribute.
This sounds like one of the magical devices of myth and legend. I recall a story of a salt mill which would produce upon command until halted by another magic word. Salt being of immense value in the ancient world, someone stole the device and set it to grinding out his fortune. Unfortunately for him, he did not know the command to turn the mill off. Soon he was in danger of suffocating in salt. In desperation he threw the mill into the sea, where it still grinds away, making the fresh water which flows into the oclean into brine.
I have a never empty mug of Coke. It may drain down, but it always refills itself. OK, so I give it some assistance, but it is never dry.
If I were the kind of father who would stop loving any of his children on command, my love would be false and worthless. Love which lasts, love which is worth having, is deep and enduring. It is boundless and flows out for all the family.
If my love was something I could turn on and off, it would not be worth having. It would not be love, but some sort of self interested business arrangement. If you could make me stop loving the rest of my children and grandchildren, so that my devotion was be all yours, you would find it to be a sterile and pointless thing which would have neither depth nor endurance. You would no longer want it. Do not seek to kill the goose that laid the golden egg if it lays for more than just you. Share the wealth, share the love.
I will do anything I can for you. And I will do anything I can for all my children. One of the things which I cannot do, and still remain who and what I am, is abandon any one of you.
The day I turn my back on any of my children or grandchildren is the day I have been transformed into a stranger, into a monster. Nothing short of a major brain injury could cause that. An injury so great would be so catastrophic that I could truly be declared dead, and a new person would inhabit my body.
All the love I have to give is yours, as it is all my children's. I will never reject any of you, no matter how you hurt me. Unconditional is unconditional.
Did you know it's Grandparents' Day? I miss my Lost Lambs. I know they miss me. Let them call me. Tell me I may call them. At least let them write me a thank you card for the gifts I send. Please don't bring more suffering into the world. There is already too much here.
This mill grinds out love. It must, for that is its nature. The day it stops
loving is the day it is no longer a mill. If you succeeded in changing me, I would no longer have any value. Not to you, not to anyone. Love and family are all I have that is of worth. The rest of me is so much organic tissue.
Accept my love. Let your children, my Little Ones, have my love. There is enough for all. You do need to take any away from anyone else.
Call me. Let my Lambs call me. Tell me I may call. Take back your command that I be silent.
Don't be like the dwarfs in The Last Battle. Surrounded by love and plenty, they insist, no, demand, that they are being treated badly. A feast is interpreted as animal fodder, fine wine as dirty water from an old trough. These things are pure and wholesome and wonderful, but their fear and bitterness make them seem polluted and foul.
Here is the same love I give to all my family. Why won't you take it with joy? You are loved. Why isn't that enough?
Join the feast.
Love, always, love.