we didn’t get along but i wanted to be like him.
every morning without fail my dad would bow on the carpet and pray to a God i longed to see, and he read his bible and we weren’t allowed to disturb him.
mum would scribble bible verses on little pieces of paper and memorize them, and we only ever listened to christian music or listened to adventures in oddysey or read christian books and i got baptized at age eight because thought it might fill the loveless gap between all of these theology lessons.
but the rules remained and the greatest gift you can give your child is love.
God is love.
and love is the keyhole through which we find heaven.
and it wasn’t until my parents sat down and said they were sorry, asked me to forgive them, for those hard years, those anorexic years, those misunderstood years that every child has, that i felt the love that they’d had for me all along.
it wasn’t until mum kept memorizing scripture even after getting brain cancer, and dad kept having his quiet times, even as his wife was dying, that i met Jesus face to face. i thought i’d found him decades earlier, when my dad sprinkled water on my head, but salvation is a journey.
it’s never too late, this love.
it’s what we’re all scanning earth to find. the map that leads us back to the garden of eden.
and what with these colorado shootings and the earth weeping with poverty and disease, we need it more than ever.
so let’s be the kind of parent that loves. the kind that apologizes. the kind that keeps memorizing scripture and bowing on the faded carpet even as the news drones on of hardship and failure, and let’s treat everyone kindly. because our children are watching.
and one of the greatest books they’ll ever read is our lives.
so let’s let the message of that book be love.