Conditional Love

by Henry S. Juhala
(O'Fallon, IL USA)

I was in Texas when his dad preached on unconditional love
Part of a “Sermon on the Mount” series
Judging not lest they be judged
Classes instituted for unwed mothers
After-school tutoring for kids
Compassion and commitment to the poor
Plans being made for a food pantry
The nearby plant closing left many in the church unemployed
Still, giving was up 20%
Attendance was up 12%
I was visiting to help my dear friends break ground for a new sanctuary
Monday morning meant obligatory omelettes at Café Brazil
Followed by obligatory catching up between years apart
All seemed well

A year and several states away I think I spot the son crossing the street
I am not sure
He is sporting a beard and a tattered trench coat
Almost looks like Jesus
A year has aged him a decade or two
I wave and honk my horn
He turns his head and dashes away
I call his family to check
Daughter says her father won’t let the family talk about their gay son
It has been ten months since he came out
Nine months since the father/pastor kicked him out of the house
No one has seen him since
I drive every night for a week searching
Facebook and MySpace point me to where he hangs out
Finally I spot him
Sitting on a curb, homeless

©2011 Henry S. Juhala

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