It’s the little things, like the hours he spends cleaning the house while I am at work, or how my “sister” drops everything to listen to me on email. Love looks like a dozen little things a person does for another or the words in a greeting card sent just because. The words and actions that illustrate love cannot be substituted one for another—it must be done in conjunction with each other.
If my husband cleaned the house, but never told me he loved me it would be difficult emotionally to connect with him. If my husband only told me the words, but spent his time serving only his own needs our marriage would suffer. Friendships are the same way.
Love looks like friends who are interruptible. They hear the pleading phone call or text of a grieving friend and say, “let’s meet for coffee.” Love looks like phone calls at midnight when you have to go to work early the next morning, but you lose sleep because there’s a crisis. Love prays even when it’s sitting on a toilet seat in the bathroom the moment you get the email or phone call asking for immediate prayer. If friends only looked out for their own needs and often said only the words, the friendship would fade like a flower cut from the rest of the stalk, or crash like the buds on a tree frozen by Winter’s last blast. If friends barely communicated, but showed up for what their friend needed a friendship would be in danger of fading, but never in danger of crashing. Too many times we misunderstand the responsibilities of love.
We’re all words or we are all action. We love the scriptures that talk about love, but turn away from those who need us to exemplify it. Selfishness butts its head into the friendship or the marriage becoming an unwanted guest who only seeks to drain it. Love is work. It’s always work. Love walks and talks. It’s where we look beyond ourselves and see our choices for what they are and not how we want to see them. Some twist love to emotionally blackmail someone, or it’s quoted but never acted upon. Love doesn’t look like this; love cleans the house without being asked; prepares special meals for ordinary days; sacrifices time when one would rather be somewhere else; and love shares. It splits a donut and lets the other pick which half. That’s what love looks like, but often I see the twisted versions and wonder if people’s hearts are made of stone.
What does love look like to you?