Love is as Love Does

 

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

I wish this post was about happier things. I wish it was about the popular February 14th celebration of romantic love, in which paper and candy hearts and homemade Valentine’s and chocolate kisses and cherubic cartoon characters declare affection for loved ones, friends, and classmates.

I wish.

But it’s not.

Because I can’t stop thinking about that hug.

No, it wasn’t even a hug with my sister-in-law. It was more like a grip, a grip that transcended pain and suffering, a press of body against body and mother’s heart against mother’s heart that doesn’t need words.

It was a grip-glimpse into eternity, into true suffering and even truer grace.

When death is so awful, so close, this hug-grip is life. It’s comfort. It’s love.

So. Back to where I started.

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

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How inadequate those paper hearts and chocolate candies seem this year.

Because I’m learning about love in 2016. At thirty-nine, learning more about what exactly this first Corinthians thirteen emotion is when it’s shown with action instead of sentiment.

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Not through sappy movies or romantic stories. I’m learning by watching love lived out in service to others.

I’m seeing it lived out through my mother-in-law, who’s tending to her dying daughter and to grandchildren soon motherless. Day after day, blurring into weeks. Caring for and hand-holding and holding up. And we’re all seeing how prayer and grace are buoyant life preservers during the darkest moments a mother, father, and family can face.

I’m seeing it lived out through my faithful Mom toward my Dad, who had serious hip surgery the 5th day of the New Year then dealt with a cracked hip and more difficult physical setbacks only weeks later. Numerous nights in hospital rooms and hours spent with nurses and insurance calls. Love that defends and comforts and cares for.

This is God’s ideal love.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Far above chocolate and candy hearts and red ribbon and even ‘I love you’s’, this serving love–the love Jesus showed–soars close to heaven’s gates. It’s a love that steps outside emotion and serves others for their sake, not for any personal gain.

Because love is as love does.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1)

*We appreciate your prayers for my sister-in-law and her family as she ends her earthly journey and for healing for my Dad’s hip. God Bless you!*

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9 thoughts on “Love is as Love Does

  1. Rick Christensen February 14, 2016 at 6:24 am Reply

    Kerry, thank you for sharing your heart of love through this writing. I was at my nephews bedside when he died. The hospice chaplain had softly been reading scriptures. Love was present in his room. Our love and God’s love. Today is about God’s love for me as well.

    • candidkerry February 14, 2016 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Wow, Rick, how emotional that must have been for you. Thank you for your heart to share God and His love with others through your writing. *hugs* and hope to see you soon!

  2. Sis February 14, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply

    Thank you Kerry for these words and for your love. We love you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. deboracoty February 14, 2016 at 7:55 am Reply

    Golly, Kerry, I won’t say that this post ripped my heart out in the darkness before dawn. Instead I’ll say it was poignant, moving, and incredibly powerful. And that I stopped in my tracks to pray for your sister-in-law and her family, parents-in-law, parents, and YOU, dear sister. Now I have to see if I can dry my face and replant my heart before the world wakes up.

    • candidkerry February 14, 2016 at 9:24 pm Reply

      Sorry about the early morning emotional shock, Deb. It was a difficult post to write but so much on my heart. Thank you so much for your prayers. They have truly been holding us all up. *Hugs*

  4. Jennifer Deg February 14, 2016 at 8:14 pm Reply

    This is beautiful Kerry! Thank you for your wonderful writing once again!

    • candidkerry February 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm Reply

      Thanks for reading and for your encouragement, Jen. I hope we can figure out a time to meet up soon!

  5. joannebischof February 24, 2016 at 10:06 am Reply

    Wow, Kerry. So powerful. Thank you for this picture of soul-deep love. The kind that goes so far beyond those paper hearts. Bless you, friend!

    • candidkerry February 28, 2016 at 6:29 pm Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and reading, Joanne. I appreciate it and can’t wait to read your latest story. ❤

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