Unconditional means Unconditional

ImageThe entire encounter took place in about three seconds, but to Cain, it could have been an eternity.

First, a blinding light forced him to close his eyes. He felt like he was sinking into the ground, which he was, because he had fallen to his knees.

The first thing he heard that helped him realize what was happening was a tiny voice in his heart that said, “I love you, my son.”

When Cain opened his eyes, he was at the top of a magnificent ziggurat. Up so high that when he looked out he could see the entirety of the land. His feet were actually upon the topmost step, with only the pinnacle available before him. Upon that pinnacle there was a throne made of jade, and sitting upon that jade throne, a man in golden armor. The man… was crying.

I’m so sorry Cain. I have been with you since before you were born, and I have waited so long for the day that you would open your heart to me, release it from your bitterness.

“Where am I? Who are you?”

Do I really need to answer that?

“Are you… you can’t be… why would you…?”

Yes, I can, and because I love you.

“How can you love me? I am full of hatred, of murder… Oh… I killed my brother!”

If you were truly filled with hatred, you would not be here, my son. You opened your heart to me when you felt remorse for what you had done. It is the first step to repentance.

“No! No, you can’t love me. I am too horrible! I am wicked! From birth I have hated, I have been nothing but evil. It is my nature to be evil!”

CAIN! Who are you to know your own nature? Did you place your soul within your body? Did you lovingly craft every cell of flesh, every inclination, and every curious neuron? It was I, who made you Cain, and it was I who gave you your nature, and I know… it is not evil.

Shaking his head in confusion from the barrage of words unknown to him, Cain grasps the last sentence. “How could it not be? Look what I have done?”

What you have done, my son, is a most disturbing act, a desecration of all that I value and hope for in humanity. However, no matter how evil your actions, I will always love you. It was I who allowed you to choose to walk the path of darkness, and it was I who created a universe where darkness could exist. It was I who created humanity so fragile that it could be taken away by so many things. My reasons for these things are great and beyond what you could possibly comprehend. All you need to know is; I love you. I do not hate you for what you have done. I weep for you, for your dark path. Turn back to me, my son, follow my ways and you will be happy again.

“No! I could never be happy again. I have betrayed you, my family, and myself. I don’t deserve your love! I deserve to die as a punishment for my actions!”

The light began to fade then, as Cain pulled away from his creator.

Son, you don’t have to do this. I could never hate you. Abel is with me, he only hopes for your salvation from this, just as I do. He understands you now, and he does not hate you either. Don’t do this to yourself.

“It’s too late… You may love me, but I can’t…”

As the light fades completely to black, Cain sees one last movement from the man atop the pinnacle, his head falls into his hands, and he weeps.

After Cain awoke from blacking out, he broke from the eyes and arms of his family and ran back to his dwelling, collected his things, and left. Now that he knew that Abel had been right all along about “Being”, he only felt more hatred toward himself. The blood that he had spilled that day cried out to him, mocking him, taunting him, reminding him of his betrayal.

Cain walked away from home without looking back and with only one thought on his mind. He would find someone out there who could do what he didn’t have the strength to do, no matter how much he hated himself… kill him. He both feared and sought death. He knew there were others out there like him; men who found pleasure in death. That is where he belonged. With the cursed, those cursed by blood.

But no matter where he went, he would never forget that man, and how he wept for him, and how he said, “I love you”.

____________________________________________________________________

The story of Cain and Abel has long been used to show God’s favoritism. Indeed, the scholarly opinion would suggest that the story was born as a method for alienating foreigners that the Hebrew people did not want to trust, or who they wanted to kill.

What I hear when I read the story is the beginning of something completely different; the beginning of mankind believing themselves to be fallen, broken, miserable creatures. Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, we sin. Yes, we spit at God.

However, unconditional means unconditional. There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of our Father. God made us as we are, creatures capable of love and hate.

The thought that God would create a people, perfect only to fall and live thousands of years in the shadow of what they might have been, is cruel and sadistic and unlike a God of love.

We are the source of sin. We are the source of hate. We are the separation that exists between God and us. We are the love. We are the light. We are the hope for a brighter and more loving future. We are neither demons nor angels. We simply are what God made us. Perfectly imperfect.

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