A Circle of Love
My wife Kathie and I married too late to start a family of our own, but we are blessed to have a spiritual extended family of parents and children. These include my daughter from a previous marriage and her adopted daughter, and families that come to Kathie’s children’s library. There is also a special group of families that we have vacationed with every summer for many years, usually at two rented houses on a California coastal beach near Santa Cruz.
When we are with this group at the beach location, I am the most contented of family men. The last time we were together there, in July 2009, we had all the regulars, including teenagers who had been toddlers when the tradition of going to the beach began. It is enchanting that our teenagers, who are expected to be in a naturally rebellious season of life, are devoted to the tradition and want the gathering to be the same each year in every detail, as when we first began. The last time we assembled this group, there was a new baby with the impressive biblical name of Obadiah. His great cuteness made him the center of attention for everyone.
Enjoying the proceedings, my contentment overflowed so much that I announced, as if I knew all about it, that heaven is a community of believers united by love. If I am correct in this, we do not have to wait to see what heaven is like, because we have been getting a taste of it in our summer gatherings. I am thus convinced that the best life is the one that contains the greatest amount of love, both received and given, no matter what troubles that life may also contain.
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Phillip E. Johnson is Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Darwin on Trial, The Wedge of Truth, The Right Questions (InterVarsity Press), and other books challenging the naturalistic assumptions that dominate modern culture. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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