This Is How You Do Love

She brought me a toothbrush and a clean pair of yoga pants. And underwear.

She didn’t ask if I needed undies before packing a bag and schlepping across town to hug her friend at the hospital. Obviously, “Do you need some underwear?” can be an awkward question no matter how close you may be.

Instead, she walked around her own quiet house at dawn asking herself, “What might someone wish for after two all-nighters in the hospital?”

This is how you do love.

He came and prayed. Even knowing he’d battle rush-hour traffic, and would likely miss some morning appointments, he arrived in the early hours. Opening his Bible, he read a Psalm his daddy had read to him when he was too scared to sleep.

This is how you do love.

If you’re like me, I worry that I don’t do love very well. I don’t always know what to do or say when others are suffering. It’s a terrible feeling isn’t it? The desire to comfort and be a tangible help but unsure of the best way to go about it?

My inner conversations often go like this: “I want to help, but I don’t want to burden. Should I go? Should I call? Should I text? What will I say when I get there? I don’t want to make things any harder. Are we close enough that they would even want to see or hear from me in the midst of everything they have going on?”

She told me that dinner would arrive at 6pm. She didn’t ask if we wanted dinner, needed dinner, would be home for dinner, or if we all even LIKED that kind of dinner. Instead she prepared a meal in tinfoil, walked straight into my frighteningly messy kitchen, and put dinner in the fridge for when we would eventually drag home.

This is how you do love.

Friends, we are called to regularly do love; to comfort and care for our own, our neighbors, and for those we encounter lying in the road.

Some of you already do love so beautifully it seems almost effortless (we all know it’s not). The way you are – your lovingkindness – makes this world warmer, safer, and so much lovelier for the rest of us.

But if you, like me, ever worry how best to help others in times of trouble, here are some brief thoughts on how others have loved me well in mine.

Check yourself before asking, “Do you need anything?” or, “Is there anything I can do?”

I’ve done this myself, countless times, and always with the best intentions. Of course your friend will appreciate you reaching out, but they probably won’t tell you what they really need. Why?

Because, what they really need is for their child to be well. They need their loved one to be alive. They need the cancer to be gone. Life is not as it should be, and what they really need most is for all things to be well.

Do ask yourself, “How might I show love in this particular situation?” or “Is there anything I can do for them while their focus is elsewhere?” And then go do that.

It will be different for everyone, there is no love recipe.

Go and sit, even for a little while. Bring coffee. Bring a pillow or sweater. Send a card. Mow the grass. Take out the Monday trash. Water the plants. Feed the pets. Pick up the kids from school. Bring a smoothie. Bring underwear. You’re doing it! You are doing love…

Do pray to our Father, “Your kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

She sets her alarm to go off every day at 8:00am, noon, and 4:00pm. Three times each day her little boy hears the alarm and runs to find her.

“Mommy! It’s time to pway”.

She can’t go to the hospital with both her little ones at home. She can’t be with her friend in person, but she can be there in Spirit. And so she stops what she’s doing to sit on the floor with her sleepy-eyed boy and they pray (and pway) to their Heavenly Father, who is over, under, in, before, behind, and through all things.

This is how you do love.

Peace to each of you as you love each other well this week.


14 responses to This Is How You Do Love

  1. Winnie says:

    How beautiful! So plain and simple! Thank you! 🙏❤️

  2. Helen says:

    So beautiful and perfectly said. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow. So touching. So true. I said some of the very statements. Forgive me. I must do more.

  4. Laura Wimberley says:

    Thank you for this very valuable advice and insight.

  5. Marc says:

    Thank you! Timely word that I needed to hear at this very moment. God bless you!

  6. JanGates@Home says:

    Would you be willing to share an explanation of why the respectful words of Thee, Thine, Thou have been removed from so much of today’s religious writings?

    I have been taught since a very young child that God should be honored with a specific set of words. Should we use our common language to speak to God, or a pray? In an interview for a job we really, really want; we are careful to use our best words. I know that any words used to pray to God will be heard, he wouldn’t ignore a request using you or your. And I would never tell someone or insinuate they can’t pray with common words or make them feel bad; but I would love to see a movement to quietly turn it around. I wish I could write with your words so it doesn’t sound harsh I just need another opinion or perspective.

    DO pray to our Father: “Your kingdom come; your will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.” DO pray to our Father; “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.”

  7. Given Breath says:

    Hi Jan, you don’t sound harsh:) But I don’t have a good answer for you – other than when I pray throughout the day, I simply try and talk to my Heavenly Father. While I try and use my best -most honest- words, “Thy” seems outside my own manner of speaking to someone I love. Does that make sense? I’m sorry to not have something more helpful:/

    Peace to you and yours.

  8. simpletarian says:

    Kim, this is so spot on and lovely. I am a postpartum doula in Texas and am wondering if I could have your permission to share this wonderful post on my website?

  9. Given Breath says:

    Hi there Ms. Simpletarian:) Of course! Thank you for asking. Peace to you and yours. – Kim

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