Those who read my weekly column on a regular basis know I often find the inspiration for my articles from my own experiences as a husband and father. Many of my articles focus on the love and fulfillment I have found through my
wife and children and our life together. As a result, I get a great deal of mail each week from people around the world who want to share their thoughts
with me concerning love.
Some write to share their own inspirational stories of love. Others tell of heartbreak and love lost. A few have shared memories of their now departed spouses which my words have brought to mind - these are often the most touching of all. But there are also those letters which express sadness and
a sense of emptiness. Letters written by those who are still seeking what I have found. Those longing for the love and fulfillment my life has been so richly blessed with. These letters never fail to move me in a very real and powerful way.
Just this morning I read a letter sent to me from a woman who was struggling
to keep her faith in love. As a single mother who holds down a full time job
and goes to school part time, her life is obviously very full. However, her
letter told of a woman in pain...
"I enjoyed the passage (article), but to be brutally honest, I don't have that kind of faith in love anymore. Is it real? I wish I had the time to find out... How is it possible to keep faith in love when everything around us portrays an image of society with no compassion for commitment, loyalty, and in my opinion, most importantly, honesty?" Signed, "A 23-year-old who has already lost her faith in love."
I don't answer every letter, but felt compelled to answer this one - but how? I was fortunate to find love early in my life. My lifelong love affair with my wife began when we were just kids. Our first date was to our high school senior prom. From that decorated gym some twenty years ago, our love has
grown immeasurably and, combined with my children, is what gives my life purpose, happiness and meaning.
In attempting to answer the letter, I struggled with finding a way to assure her that the love I write about and things such as compassion, commitment, loyalty and honesty do indeed exist. These things are certainly present in my life, but do they come to everyone? Is there any assurance these things
will find a way into all our lives? Call me an eternal optimist, a hopeless romantic, but I truly believe love does find us all - sometime, somewhere. Perhaps all it takes is patience, an open heart, and faith.
Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land. - Carter Heyward
So what about faith? Faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Love may exist for me, but for someone who doesn't have love in their life, there's little I, or anyone else, can offer to assure them that it exists. It's not like a car they can take for a test-drive or a stone they can hold in their hand. No, faith is something which we either choose to have or have not.
Prayer is asking for rain and faith is carrying the umbrella. - Barbara Johnson
About faith, I can only say that having it sure beats the alternative. With faith comes hope, and the courage to continue on - even in the bleakest of circumstances. It's what allows us to give our hearts time and time again. It's what gives us the strength to pick ourselves up when we've fallen, to try again when we've failed, and to look beyond the present to what might be.
Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; The reward for this faith is to see what you believe. - St. Augustine
I guess all I really have to offer the young woman who wrote to me is this: The boundless beauty and inspiration in my life, which I've come to know as love, is worth every sacrifice; every dark path navigated; every heartache endured. For nothing else I've experienced nor dared dream can compare.
Have faith my friend. Faith.
About the Author:
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