As anyone who cares to read my Blog knows, my favorite movie is ‘A River Runs Through It’. Every now and again I choose to re-watch this film and as I watch I find myself knowing what is coming and wishing it could end a bit differently. The person who needs our help does not want what we have to give or what we have to give is not what they need. We recognize the inevitability of the situation, that without change it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes, yet we are helpless to change the situation.
Is it necessary for us to make poor choices? Is it required by some celestial law that some of our companions fall early…and some to continue on the river of life without their good company? What good can come from the suffering that they endure? What can we learn from the experience?
I take a bit of solace in the sermon that Rev. McClain gives toward the end of the movie. It is set in a moment of time, but you can imagine that it has taken years for him to arrive at this belief. In a beautiful church on a nice sunny day he preaches, …”but we can still love them…we can love completely without complete understanding. ” It is okay to say, ‘I don’t understand your choices, but I love you completely none the less’. You see in a family there is no walking away. Even if you choose not to speak for a few decades, you are still family. What your family members do, DOES matter to you. As painful as the emotional pull may be, your family is your family.
The question is, can any of us reach full understanding of our family? I believe the answer is most likely ‘no’. Thus, loving completely without complete understanding becomes a prerequisite to loving anyone completely.