John Piper writes today about the steadfast love and commitment from the fathers of Robert Lewis Stevenson and C. S. Lewis despite their estrangement and even unbelief (something Piper knows a lot about himself):
Amazingly, both Stevenson’s and Lewis’s fathers kept on sending stipends to their sons through the years of rejection. In spite of words like, “I am simply incapable of cohabiting any house with my father” (Stevenson); and, “I really can’t face him” (Lewis), the fathers kept supporting their sons.
Six years after his father’s death, Lewis wrote to a friend to catch him up on the last decade: “My father is dead…. I have deep regrets about all my relations with my father (but thank God they were best at the end). I am going bald. I am a Christian.”
Perhaps sending money through the broken years was the right thing to do. Perhaps not. What it shows is not approval, nor that the sorrow had disappeared. Rather, it reveals a kind of bond between fathers and sons that is the foundation of pain, not its removal.