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I've wondered about that same parable for much of my life. Now that my own children are grown, I have some understanding. If one of my two children were lost, dead to me in the sense of being unreachable, as actually happened with my daughter's drug use, my heart would break for sure. It did. However, against all imaginable odds, in the face of suicide attempts, psych wards, and a slew of rehab centers, my daughter is now returned to me, clean and sober for close to a year.

Do I resent my daughter's time away from me? Do I feel she owes me something for my broken heart? Do I feel she has earned less love, care and compassion from me than my son, who never chose that path? No to all three. I could not withhold my love from someone who needs it so much. I love them both equally, and they know it.

In our humaness, fraught with all manner of frailness and inadequacy, it's easy to lose sight of love. We are subject to intense emotions. We must deal with limited resources and abilities. We are trapped within our human perspective. How closely might we come to understanding the Love of a God? For me, I would do anything to reach my children, and teach them to love. And when a lost one takes those first faltering steps of return to self respect and compassion, I open my arms and give every ounce of support I am capable of, no matter how long it takes. These are my children. I do not abandon them. I do not place one over the other. Thank you for listening.