The give of unconditional love
I wrote yesterday about my experiences of being a dad. Today I want capture of few thoughts about my own dad. In the same way that I feel so grateful to be Eloise and Imogen’s dad, I am equally thankful to have a great father. Not perfect, of course (sorry, dad!) – but definitely great.
The greatest gift any parent can give to their child is the security of unconditional love. Knowing that no matter what you do or don’t do, or how you do or don’t succeed, makes no difference to knowing you will always being loved and welcome is a gift that’s worth cannot be measured.
I was reminded of this afresh when I was at church on Sunday with my two girls. We were looking at the story of the lost son. If you’re not familiar with it, a father’s youngest son asks for his inheritance early and then runs off in the pursuit of life and freedom. He quickly ends up broke and humbled and realises he has to head back home to his father.
He’s worried though. Will he be welcomed home? He plans to offer himself as a servant but when his father sees him heading home, he literally runs towards him. He’s not bothered by how his son has messed up his life. Well, he might have wished he’d made better choices. But that makes no difference to his always being loved and always being welcomed.
The story is one told by Jesus to give us a picture of what God’s love is like for us. (Sadly, this is not the picture most people have of God.)
This brings me back to my own dad though. I know that I am loved without condition. I know that know matter what goes on in my life, I will always be welcome with my father. I realise that I’m lucky on this front as I know how many people have not had this same gift.
We don’t always see eye to eye on everything. Of course we don’t. But it doesn’t matter. Love covers a multitude of disagreements. And words could never capture how much that love means to me and how blessed I am to have lived my whole live within that love.