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Letter to Clyde Hoverhill: Unconditional Love
Dear Clyde Hoverhill,
Your peers whispered about you as you strode through the halls.
“The senator’s son…”
“Two million followers…”
“Four-hundred dollars vest…”
Every classroom you entered, girls catapulted staccato laughs and swung nervous glances in your direction. Guys hooted and beckoned for you to grace their corners with your presence. Your teachers would raise their eyebrows but hold their silence, licking their lips with curiosity. You always sidled next to the prettiest girls, the ones whose figures rivaled those of Victoria Secret angels, and the bulkiest guys, whose physique were second only to your own.
On the playing field, your coach picked on you the hardest, finding fault from your form to the stains on your helmet, but secretly you knew he liked you best. To the other coaches in the locker room, he would laud your speed, your agility, the way no other boys on the team could match your spin for their lives with such animation and zeal that they’d salivate. Jealousy seethed out of the other players’ mouths like foam when you left the room. They thought you didn’t hear them, but you did. You lapped up their curses like a hungry dog. Their words consoled you.
You never failed to draw a battery of praises and flashing glares from your parents’ friends.
“Why can’t he be our son.” You knew they lamented among themselves—at your parents’ annual garden ball, at the senator’s baseball game, at your aunt’s funeral. Each time you thought of the agony poisoning their guts, your chest would jerk skywards.
The media cast their spotlight on you the moment your father stepped on stage for his first rally five years ago. They lauded your achievements in national science competitions and colored your image with rumors so wildly inventive hardly anyone, not even your own mother knew your true person. Every story they broadcasted was like smooth butter dissolving on your tongue. The more they cranked out, the more you craved.
“Today, Senator Hoverhill’s son, Clyde Hoverhill, received his second STEM award this year…”
“As seen in this picture, father and son stand together on their vacation yacht…”
“Returning once again to tonight’s talk show is our favorite guest of the season, Senator’s son, star football player, and aspiring engineer, Clyde Hoverhill…”
But I have seen the truth.
I’ve seen you scrubbing out the beer stains on your shirt minutes before interviews. I’ve noticed your grimace when girls would unknowingly touch the scars beneath your shirt. I’ve sat beside you in the dark of the school’s basement before practice as thoughts of suicide swirled through your mind like a hurricane. Each time hot, briny tears slid down your face, I gathered them in my palms and made them my own.
I promise you, it’s not just the police who saw the mess of your house that night after your mother exploded in a manic rage and your father slammed a bottle into your temple—again—and your sister ran sobbing from the scene and you, Clyde, turned away, body and mind numb. It wasn’t just the faceless men and women with their cameras flashing who were there when you stumbled wordlessly into the ambulance. It wasn’t just your sister who watched, quaking, as you shoved a fistful of pills down your throat when the sirens began to scream.
Even after you entered that drug-induced oblivion, you weren’t alone. Did you feel my arms around you when your pulse began to dance across the monitor? Did you sense my presence in that first breath you gasped?
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Did you even have the slightest idea of the life you would live?
When you were eighteen, you graduated with honors, much to your surprise. At twenty-two you finally opened that bakery you’d been daydreaming about since twelve.
On your twenty-fourth birthday, I sent you your first real friend. His name was John. He sat by the door of your bakery each day until you took compassion on him. You replaced his rags with trousers and an apron and his begging bowl with a rolling pin. You disclosed to him the secrets of a perfect brioche and in return he pointed you towards the path of life.
Finally, at twenty-five you learned to stop blaming me for your losses. Because you drew near to me, I drew near to you. Because you hated your own hatred, I taught you to love instead. Day by day, the shackles of your past began to rust until they could constrain you no longer. They fell, crumbling into ash and vanishing with all your woes. Your spirit rose for the first time and you began experiencing everything anew: the world around you, the life that pumped through your veins, and me. You tottered forward and haven’t looked back.
At thirty-six, you would walk through the doorway of your own house each night to find two healthy boys bouncing into your arms and your wife’s patient smile across the room. Even after your wife passed from pneumonia, your heart still went on, stronger and more loving than before because of the man you’ve become, through me.
Clyde Hoverhill, could you have fathomed all these things at that green age when you decided to end it all? Could that frightened boy weeping oceans in the basement all those eons and eons ago possibly have known? Though you didn’t know and grew bitter because of it, I held on to you and led you by your right hand. Though you hated my name, abusing it in your blindness, I still loved you. And when you stumble again today, tomorrow, and on your last day, I promise to love you still.
Thoughts from Trinity’s Hope, LLC
In a world where there is so much mental illness, addiction, and judgment about others, God’s love is unconditional. What we see on the outside, is not always what is going on in the inside. It is impossible for any of us to know what someone may be going through behind closed doors. We have all heard the saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” That isn’t limited to a person’s appearance.
We may not like the way someone behaves towards us or others. But, I promise you, we are all fighting something. And no one’s fight is any greater or less than our own. We may feel that way, and we my think of someone as a “bad person,” but we can challenge ourselves to think more God like.
God’s unconditional love tells us that despite our flaws, our circumstances, or our sins, He loves us anyways. He is a forgiving God, and at the end of the day, when we face judgment day, He is the one who decides.
We can challenge ourselves the next time someone says or does something that feels offensive by asking, “are you okay?” or to say, “I was thinking of you and wanted to check on you to see if you are okay.” And even if someone isn’t doing something offensive, ask them anyways. Check on them. Because we never know what people are going through and thinking of them may make all the difference in their worlds.
No matter what we go through in life, God’s unconditional love carries us through. That is His promise and He keeps His promises. He is such a loving and faithful God.
About the Author
Macy is the author and creator of Macy Thoughts and writes literary reviews and shares her Christian perspectives on all things life.
“I’m currently a UC Davis student originally from southern California majoring in Communications and English. In my free time (hah, but when am I ever free?), I enjoy walking my dog, hiking, creative writing, pilates, hanging out with friends, bouncing around Youtube, and of course, reading. On top of Christian, I especially favor fantasy, classics, sci-fi, travel books, and short stories.”
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