This morning at Family Services for Yom Kippur, the Rabbi introduced the subject of repentance by speaking of love, unconditional love. She suggested that we think of the person in our lives whose love we knew we could depend on, the person who loved us warts and all, without constraint
She was saying that God loves all of God’s creation as much as that person in our lives loved us. God’s love is the bedrock on which we stand. God’s love is what makes us yearn for goodness. God’s love is what makes repentance possible. And life.
My fourteen-year-old grandson put his head on my shoulder.
Like the rest of the congregation, I was looking for that person in my life who accepted me for who I was, the one who “got” me. I found her in my childhood memories, and I thanked her this morning for all the tiny acts of acceptance and approval that helped me grow into the person I am.
With her in mind, I prepared to engage myself in the future tasks I set for myself in this my 80th year. And then another dimension of this love came to me: my unconditional love for those grandchildren. It lightens my load and it gives me strength and faith in the future.
I don’t presume to fathom God’s love, but for a moment I let myself imagine that God might love me as much as I love those children. I felt a rush of energy.
For me, such love brings joy, and from that joy springs my determination to work toward a more just world, so that all people may sense God’s love for them.
Love. Joy. Justice. I wish us all a productive and useful year.