No Matter What

Looking over my shoulder as I started to drive away, I saw 2 year old Fulton, standing in the doorway of the house, waving and blowing kisses as I slowly moved away. I had stopped-in to see four of my grandchildren as I headed to the office. My heart swelled as I considered such pure, guileless affection. No expectation. No ask. No pouting. No care. Just an unblemished, innocent love. No matter what.

A few weeks earlier, his older brother had hurt their sister while playing sword fight in the backyard. Walking out to see what was happening, I found Reagan crying and Cooper nowhere to be found. Looking in front of the house, I saw him down the block, hiding. He would not come to me, and only returned when his mom called him back. I pulled him aside and asked him why he ran. After repeatedly saying “it was an accident,” he confessed, “I didn’t want to get in trouble.” I said something about knights, chivalry, and honesty, but ended with: “I will always love you, no matter what.” No matter what.

No matter what. It’s been rolling around in my head ever since. How many places in our lives do we love someone no matter what? No matter what they do or don’t do. No matter what they take. No matter how they hurt. No matter what they say. No matter when they show up or when they don’t. No matter what.

There is little we do in this world for anyone that does not have an expectation attached to it. Few relationships can clear such a hurdle. Such a love is exquisite, precious, Divine. It’s the kind of love that will lay the self down, no matter what. The kind of love that will forgive, no matter what. The kind of love that will sacrifice, no matter what. Most of our marriages cannot stand such a test.

Such devotion is limited to the most exclusive relationships – as such an exceptional gift should be. However, there are efforts and purposes worthy of such committed devotion.

Consider for a moment the power of being honest, no matter what. Or, the disarming impact of being respectful, no matter what. Then, there’s the soul-freeing prospect of forgiving, no matter what. Imagine if we could muster a sincere smile, no matter what or bring forth an apology, no matter what. I wonder, is it possible to see the value and the dignity of every human being, no matter what? What might my life look like if I could be patient, no matter what?

I suppose such musings are too simplistic. Surely such a Pollyanna approach to the world would result in being taken advantage of, abused, mislead, and hurt. Of course human interaction are far too complex, the dynamics of our reality too unpredictable, the risks to self beyond calculation, to move within this dangerous world with such naïveté.

Or, maybe there is a freedom in such simplicity. What if I lived virtuously, no matter what? What impact to the world might I have if everyday I gave it my best self, no matter what? What if Fulton lived the rest of his life, loving like he does right now, no matter what?

We will face difficulties today. We will encounter bad people, bad decisions, bad situations, and bad news today. Or tomorrow. Or the next. Someone will surely disappoint us, criticize us, hate us, or hurt us sometime in the next 24 hours. What would happen if we found the gift in it, the good in it, the message in it, or the lesson in it, no matter what? What if we trusted that we would be ok, would find a way, or still be loved, no matter what?

Yeah, I know we’ll all fail at it, repeatedly. I realize that we will likely stumble, get angry, overreact, fudge the facts, or tear someone down. We will undoubtedly falter in the face of our realities. But maybe, just maybe, we can try again. And again. And again. No matter what.

Showing 2 comments
  • Trish+Berry

    Another good lesson! And we can try again no matter what!! Amazing what you’re teaching your Children /Grandchildren and I’m learning from mine.

  • Olympia White

    A great lesson!

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