Truly True Love

This is another in a series of letters to members of the amazing Prayer for Prodigals community.  Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life.  And this on unconditional love speaks to each of us.


Dear Lover of Prodigals,

February—the month of love.When you love a prodigal, you know something about love.

You know about all the acts of love that you do, hoping to woo your wayward one back into the fold—yours and God’s.

You know the sacrifices you make—time, attention stolen from other children, the cost of rehab, the never leaving home in order to protect him or your home, the waiting for the call–from the hospital or the jail, the hours on your knees.You know the battle in your heart between boundaries and grace, between tough love and mercy.  Which?  When?

You know the pain of angry words thrown in your face, of her not wanting to be with you and your family, of your love being trampled in the ground.You know the despair of love rejected, the fear of truly losing this treasured one, the ache of loss of hope.You have despaired and given up.  You have persevered and kept going.

And probably you have also learned the difficult but powerful truth that we learned from our prodigal:  Unconditional love doesn’t require love in return.God has loved us with an everlasting love, with kind and tender love, with truth and grace, with a rod and with mercy.  And when He calls us to love as He has loved, laying down our lives for these prodigals, He knows we can’t do it.

But He promises to do it in us and for us. He sent His Spirit to live in us, fill us up and to do the impossible through us:  To keep loving through it all.

And surely God understands all that we are going through as we love those so stingy with their love—for He has experienced it all as He has loved us.

May the love of God be poured over and in and through you,


What about you?  Where has love been hard for you?

If you love a prodigal and would like to join this loving, praying community, write to PrayerforProdigalsatgmaildotcom and request an invitation.