To Be Loved And To Love–Two Sides Of The Same Coin

“To be loved and to love are the two sides of the same coin,” Rinda wrote back early yesterday.

She was responding to the story of Sylvie and Bruno, the part where Sylvie had to choose between “All Will Love Sylvie” or “Sylvie Will Love All”.

“Thank you for the lovely story… May you know you are loved even as you continue to grow in loving those whom the Father loves.”

I was smiling when I read my Spiritual Director’s reply. She has an uncanny way of shifting and enlarging your perspective so that it includes the whole picture–when our tendency is to focus on just the one.

Her wisdom, grace and love has greatly impacted my life, and her words are always aptly spoken, ‘like apples of gold in settings of silver’.

So it wasn’t surprising, but greatly amusing, when I, with sleepy eyes at half past 1 in the morning, found out what Sylvie and Bruno did with the Locket, over four hundred pages later, in page 822, 823, and 824…

Light, richer and more golden than any lamp could give, flooded the room, streaming in from a window I had somehow never noticed before, and lighting up a group of three shadowy figures, that grew momentarily more distinctly–a grave old man in royal robes, leaning back in an easy chair, and two children, a girl and a boy, standing at his side.

“Have you the Jewel still, my child?” the old man was saying.

“Oh, yes!” Sylvie exclaimed with unusual eagerness. “Do you think I’d ever lose it or forget it?” She undid the ribbon round her neck, as she spoke, and laid the Jewel in her Father’s hand.

Bruno looked at it admiringly. “What a lovely brightness!” he said. “It’s just like a little red star! May I take it in my hand?”

Sylvie nodded: and Bruno carried it off to the window, and held it aloft against the sky, whose deepening blue was already spangled with stars. Soon he came running back in some excitement. “Sylvie! Look here!” he cried. “I can see right through it when I hold it up to the sky. And it isn’t red a bit: it’s, oh such a lovely blue! And the words are all different! Do look at it!”

Sylvie was quite excited, too, by this time; and the two children eagerly held up the Jewel to the light, and spelled out the legend between them, “ALL WILL LOVE SYLVIE.”

“Why, this is the other Jewel!” cried Bruno. “Don’t you remember, Sylvie? The one you didn’t choose!”

Sylvie took it from him, with a puzzled look, and held it, now up to the light, now down. “It’s blue one way,” she said softly to herself, “and it’s red the other way! Why, I thought there were two of them–Father!” she suddenly exclaimed, laying the Jewel once more in his hand, “I do believe it was the same Jewel all the time!”

“Then you choosed it from itself,” Bruno thoughtfully remarked. “Father, could Sylvie choose a thing from itself?”

“Yes, my own one,” the old man replied to Sylvie, not noticing Bruno’s embarrassing question, “it was the same Jewel–but you chose quite right.” And he fastened the ribbon round her neck again.

“SYLVIE WILL LOVE ALL–ALL WILL LOVE SYLVIE,” Bruno murmured, raising himself on tiptoe to kiss the ‘little red star.’ “And, when you look at it, it’s red and fierce like the sun–and, when you look through it, it’s gentle and blue like the sky!”

“God’s own sky,” Sylvie said, dreamily.

“God’s own sky,” the little fellow repeated, as they stood, lovingly clinging together, and looking out into the night. “But oh, Sylvie, what makes the sky such a darling blue?”

Sylvie’s sweet lips shaped themselves to reply, but her voice sounded faint and very far away. The vision was fast slipping from my eager gaze: but it seemed to me, in that last bewildering moment, that not Sylvie but an angel was looking out through those trustful brown eyes, and that not Sylvie’s but an angel’s voice was whispering

“It is Love.” – Sylvie & Bruno, Lewis Caroll

The passage had echoed the wisdom of Rinda, “To Be Loved And To Love, Are The Two Sides Of The Same Coin”, before we had read it! 🙂

So if the story is read in totality, we would know that it isn’t about having one over the other–either way, we will have both–but it is a way of being.

And the Father, who is also the old man in the royal robes and the old King in the story, is proud of the choice we make, to love our neighbour, as ourself. “It was the same Jewel–but you chose quite right,” he said.

As Rinda has so beautifully reminded, “May you know you are loved even as you continue to grow in loving those whom the Father loves.”




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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