Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Every love counts, the puppy you were given
At six, the tadpoles that you tried to raise;
Even your silly parents and the siblings
You couldn’t stand were loved on certain days.

The first love of your adolescence, later
Spoken of slightingly as immature,
The love of marriage, even if it ended
In bitterness, the friends that still endure.

Into the mix, put in your charity
To those who had no one but you to love them.
All the loves given, even reluctantly,
Are still our loves. Let’s not make little of them.

They form the only fire that burns on
When sun and moon and stars have packed and gone.

—Gail White

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on firstthings.com.

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift