Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Love

Most parents love their children enough, so much so, that they allow them to leave and seek their own way. Yet, the way is always open for that same child to return when they have the need to come home. I've heard that home can be defined as "where love is always found". That may explain why, when someone is hurt in the world, there is that response to the one hurt by their returning to where love can be found.... home.

At one time or another we have all been wayward and estranged from the love we've known and that we associate with being "back home". It has also been said and understood that you can " never go home again" .... with those two thoughts scrambled together the question becomes ... how can we return to the home (where love always can be found) if the love that was once there is no longer earthly bound ? Where then, can home be found? That place where love is.... where can that be found?

Imagine a prodigal son/daughter, unable to undo either something done or something said to a now deceased parent(s).... Knowing how important closure is..... how can we find that love, forgiveness and peace we once knew..... at home??? How do we return to that place of security and peace that once upon a time embraced us in the love that we ourselves moved away from? Especially if the ones who showered us with love is no longer living.... how can we find that peace that is only found in forgiveness?

My father passed away many years ago, and my mother is battling cancer right now. The thoughts of being unplugged to both of them is at times…..overwhelming. There is never enough time when this time arrives. Things undone and unsaid can loom heavier and heavier with every day.... every year. That is why I am often times reminded of a co-worker's story that he told me years ago about a funeral service he was conducting. It seems the family was so distraught that some there, while wailing, jumped down into the grave themselves. To which, my friend the minister, chastised them by saying "if you had done right by her while she was living you would not be so lost without her right now!" I have never forgotten that story, and I mention it to help point out that reconciling with those living is best but even after death there is a place (home) where we can still return to that love we knew.

As hard as it sometimes is to do, saying "I'm sorry" or the seeking of forgiveness is a difficult thing for many .... yet, it isn't a complex thing. This pride we often times cannot get beyond is the very thing God knew would block us from returning to His love (the First Love)...that is why, just like the father in the story of the prodigal who upon seeing his wayward son in the distance returning, ran to meet him. Similarly God comes to meet us while we are still in our prideful, self-serving ways through the loving arms of His Son, Jesus. I believe He meets each of us there, one at a time, as we start back to Him.

As Christians we have the promise that we will see our loved ones again once we all graduate from this life, and we will find them once again "where love can always be found" .... home....where God is ...His heaven. For those unable to hear the voice of a parent who is no longer living, you can find peace this day by returning home to God. If forgiveness is what you seek, He can and is willing to help you return to the peace that you can only know by returning home... to the One who first loved you. In Him all things can be made right.