Sunday, July 14, 2013

My daughter, Bethany and I were talking last night...


And we got on the subject of forgiveness and compassion and how we learn them. I told her I wasn't as compassionate in my teens as I am now and I told her that she and her siblings are a lot of the reason why. I taught them as a mother, but oh how they taught me as my children. And here is the email I sent her this morning:

It is only when you experience the absolute trust and love of a child that you love unconditionally, no matter what, that you really come to grasp the essence of GOD. Once you have a child in your life, you can no longer believe in a judgmental, angry, condemning GOD because if GOD is any kind of parent, it's a better parent than we are. And we can be pretty amazing parents.

Parents love and forgive their child of so many small and huge things. It is through this forgiving that I came back to being a Universalist, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is NOTHING you guys could ever do that would make me stop loving you and striving for you and praying for you and wanting you near me. I know parents with children on death row who visit and write and pray and send whatever gifts they are allowed to send. Parental love RARELY ever gives up.

And looking at punishment, my punishing you hurt me as much as it hurt you. I know that GOD could never endlessly torture people for simply "not having right beliefs" because that's simply ludicrous. An all-knowing/all-loving GOD would know the very depth of what a person has been through and would understand the break that leads them to do horrific wrongs. That's why I know that if there is a hell at all, it's redemptive. Like a kiln finishing the clay or a smelter burning off the dross from the gorgeous, precious metal, leaving the purity of soul on the other side. Only that kind of GOD is a parent GOD. All other concepts of judgements unto torture are our own puny minds putting human bitterness and resentment and "he'll get his"-ness onto our concept of GOD.

So that is why I said, you will lead him and he will lead you all and you all will be better, more compassionate people, for it.

2 comments:

Heidi Gonzales said...

You think much more deeply on this issue than I ever have. I like your analysis and agree. I never really felt capable of giving unconditional love before my son was born. I would do most anything for that kid.

I've never seen anyone consider that hell may be redemptive either. I've always figured it would be like Dante Alegheri's Inferno. Lol. I like your idea better. It gives hope for everyone.

Bethany Lehman said...

Mom, you are a most amazing person! Thank you for excellent support, encouragement, love, and conversation! As I work through some stuff it's always wonderful to have you by my side.