April 17, 2011

The Myth of Damnation

I have three sons who are kind and intelligent, but one of them gave me fits when he was young.  He got into nearly every kind of trouble you can imagine and even spent three nights behind bars after doing something especially bone-headed.  My wife and I spent a significant portion of our free hours and sleepless nights wondering what to do about him, but never--not once--did we consider giving up on the kid. 

In fact, I was thinking of him when I wrote the following:

When I tell them, “Be careful,”
And my children nod in a way
That suggests more weighty thoughts
Are roaming through their heads,
Like: What’s for dinner?

A feeling emerges—
Spontaneous and irrepressible—
From the same place
Gratitude is born:

I loved them before they could walk,
And also before they could speak,
I can do no less now,
Though they seem deaf
To good advice.

Why do we believe a loving God would feel any differently?  To assume God damns His children is to believe He gives up on them.  I can't imagine what might have happened if we hadn't loved our son unconditionally and did everything in our power to effect a turnaround in his life.  As it now stands, he's working on a PhD in biology, specializing in the mechanisms that cause gene mutation.  He recently earned a National Science Foundation Honorable Mention.  I anticipate great things from him.

If being a father and grandfather has taught me anything, it's that children deserve our uncompromising love and devotion.  I refuse to believe in a God who doesn't feel the same way.  Play the video of my granddaughter below and tell me you disagree.

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