Both my parents were hard working and provided us with basic food and clothing, but their lives included very little healthy interaction with their children or with each other. In short, we were a dysfunctional family. I was aware of this from a very early age and knew there was something fundamentally missing. Whenever we went to town, I would watch to see if I could find a father playing with his son or a mother hugging her child or a family walking together holding hands, and I tried to imagine what it would be like to be loved.
Several decades later, I was having a conversation with a friend about my childhood and said, "I don't remember my mother ever hugging me or playing with me or saying that she loved me." Detecting the sadness in my heart, my friend responded, "I am so sorry!" At that moment, I realized that I had been carrying around the burden of feeling unloved my whole life.
Later that day, I was thinking about what triggered that sadness and why it had persisted for so long. My mother was quite elderly by then, living in a retirement home in a distant city, and I had not heard from her in many months since she no longer used the telephone. I began to think about how my persistent negative thoughts of my mother might be restricting her ability to love. Was I being an active participant, binding her to her seeming lack of natural affection? I was! At that moment, I knew that I could no longer sustain this criminal activity. I knew that I must separate the sin that had festered in my mind all those years from this dear woman and behold the daughter of God. I sat praying into the evening until I had thoroughly forgiven her and myself. I was released from the terrible disappointment and hurt I had been carrying, and I no longer resented my mother.
Within an hour of my new-found freedom, my mother surprised me with a call. She said, "George, I just want you to know that I love you." After over fifty years of silence, she and I were free to love each other!
"The 'still, small voice' of scientific
thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest
bound" (SH 559:8).
George Denninger ©