A Thought for the Day - August 31, 2023
As the morning sun illuminated the foggy sky, I found myself behind the wheel, my children in tow—two lives intertwined with mine, each a universe of their own. Today, I drove them to their schools separately, a time to be with them alone. A simple act, yet one brimming with significance, for time has a way of slipping through our grasp, carrying our moments along with it.
My son, soon to take the wheel himself, guided by the winds of independence. My daughter, attending the school where my wife pours love onto special needs children—a rare opportunity for a ride with her. Today was a gift, a reminder of the fleeting nature of these moments that sculpt the tapestry of our lives.
There's an extraordinary love that blooms between a parent and child, a love distinct from any other I’ve known. From the moment of their birth, they cradle within them a need for love as vital as the air they breathe. It's an unspoken contract, an understanding that their hearts find solace in the embrace of a parent's love.
"Love" is a word we hear often, yet its depth is often overlooked. In the sacred texts of my faith, God is revealed in many facets, but the New Testament unequivocally proclaims that God is love. The Old Testament echoes a profound truth in the simple declaration to Moses, "I AM that I AM.”
"I AM" signifies pure existence, the essence of being. To know that God is I AM is to know that all existence emanates from God. And within the New Testament's first letter of John, there's a revelation for the faithful: "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:8).
"I AM" and "love" interweave, revealing that all existence, across time and space, is rooted in the fabric of love. It's little wonder that we often experience this truth most profoundly in the context of our children—the embodiment of vulnerability and need.
But every soul yearns for that love. And, to love is to mirror the Divine. Yet, some who profess faith seem to wield love as a weapon of exclusion. Sadly, the love they project often feels far removed from the love they'd offer their own children. For many, the love of faith echoes more like discord than harmony.
The ancient poet Hafiz once mused, "Let tenderness pour from your eyes, the way the sun gazes warmly on earth." I don't aim to sway your beliefs, convince you of absolutes, or occupy a pedestal of righteousness. I simply yearn to embody love because I've felt the touch of a loving God—a God who calls us to emulate that love.
From a tradition that recognizes Jesus of Nazareth as God incarnate, I find the quintessence of love in his example. But there exist believers whose actions belie this love, just as I, too, am far from exemplifying it. Who am I to pass judgment?
Yet, Jesus believes that I can mirror his love. He believes tenderness can flow from my gaze like sunlight on earth, breathing life into all it touches. Love breathes life. Little wonder that God is love.
In a car, with my children beside me, I shared a simple act: driving them to school. Our conversations flowed like a gentle stream, each drop forming memories I'll hold dear. As they venture further into their lives, my love remains steadfast, a lighthouse guiding their way; even if they feel as they grow independent, they don’t need that love anymore. Because, let's be honest, we all need that love. We can all be that love.