Nobody tells you how hard it will be to love someone.  Most of us have such a flimsy idea of what love means.

You have no idea at the outset of this adventure that this relationship may cost you your life.

The culture has taught us to grab what we need, to get our part, to take care of ourselves.  The culture worships at the altar of ‘me’ time.

But Christ shows another way.

When our house burned down before Christmas in 2010, Steve and I woke up to a house filled with smoke, with flames shooting out the dining room window.

He didn’t hesitate.  He crawled through the burning house and unlocked the front door and made a way for our kids to escape.

He didn’t count the cost.

And as he lay gasping on the front steps, heaving for breath, all he could think about was the kids.

When our sweet Caiti brought them downstairs to safety, she looked like an angel. We all survived by the mercy of God.

But for months, I was tortured by the sounds of love—the wheezing, the coughing, the scars that may never heal.  The smell of smoke always lingers in the air.  He used a steroid inhaler for the longest time but I’m not sure his lungs will ever be the same.

Every time he coughs, I’m jarred awake to what it means to really love another.

Love that will enter a burning room, not knowing the outcome.  Love that will lay down its life.  Love that will go to work, day in and day out, despite the stress and drudgery and the thanklessness.

Love that sets His face like a flint and won’t stop until mankind is ransomed.  Love that goes to a cross, to die, for the sins of the world.

Real love can’t be summed up in chocolate and cards and flowers.

Real love is dirty, smoke-stained, bloody, left for dead.

But the Father of all mercy will raise the dead man, will give him breath and life, and will in His resurrection, raise us too.

Love will have the last word.

Love will never fail.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”

**********************

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60 comments on “What Love Sounds Like:: Love, On Purpose”

  1. So beautiful! It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:8 where it talks about Charity (the pure love of Christ) when it says, “Charity never faileth.” I think that what you have described fits this perfectly. What a lovely example you are to me!

  2. Beautiful miss Edie! So true that we can’t even wrap our minds around the depth of love god had for us that he would give up His SON for us and our salvation! What an example of love Steve gave his family!

  3. Oh Edie, how beautifully this touched my very soul. You are such an amazing wonderful friend to me. You open my eyes daily and I truly take you insight and apply to my own selfish ways to make me better for my family. Love you my friend

  4. Thank you Edie. This was such a precious reminder to me. Prayers that precious man’s health and thanksgiving for your precious life now. Thanks for sharing so much with so many.

  5. This is beautiful. No greater love hath a man than this….thank you Edie, for consistently pointing us (me) back to the cross. Xo

  6. Aww! Reading about your Caiti escorting her siblings from the fire totally makes me tear up. The pregnancy hormones make it worse, I’m sure, but this post had me crying.

  7. What a wonderful piece of writing. Your thoughts mirror so many of my feelings. Often, I feel the fullest when I empty my love into someone else. Jesus shows us how and Lent keeps us focused. Thanks for opening yourself to us!

  8. This made me cry. I believe my husband would do the same. I always think of the song That’s my Job by Conway Twitty when I hear stories like this.

  9. I love this. I just listened to a sermon yesterday that basically said the same thing. If you didn’t live so far away, I’d think you went to the same church as me! ; ) Being a parent teachers us a lot about the love the heavenly Father has for us. It’s an amazing, humbling thing to contemplate.

  10. Wow! Thank you for writing this. It is a Valentine to your husband and a testimony to our Lord. I’m writing through tear blurred eyes.

  11. What a gift God has given you and your family, such a love filled, strong man to have in your life!
    May God continue to bless you with just the right words to encourage and enlighten all of us… thanks doesn’t seem to be enough.
    Love JoAnn

  12. Wow, That is intense. I have just found your blog and can already say it is obvious God has his hand on your family and your ministry right here on this precious blog. You have a gift with communicating through your writing. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking post today! Hugs!

  13. Precious beautiful truth. Thank you for a new window into a profound mystery–Christ in you (me ~ us) the hope of glory. You are a wonderful encourager, Edie.

  14. Sigh. You got me.

    I just read my friend’s FB post which began with his son asking, “I liked playing Legos with you tonight. Can we do that again?”
    His response:
    “Yes sir. We can do that again four hundred million times, buddy.”

    I have smart friends. But my immediate thought was how I would have hugged my daughter (or sons) and then brushed off the idea of more play – feeling panicked and nervous about stuff I need to do, and therefore nervous about being asked for more of my time….for more of me. And frankly, that’s a wee bit of sugar coating for you, Edie.

    So, the phrase, “worships at the altar of ‘me’ time” pointed right at me. My tears and I pray for forgiveness and another chance.

    • i know, i do it all the time, rhonda.
      all the time.
      we live in repentance and by grace.
      our Father knows it all and yet He loves us.
      xoxo

  15. A man after God’s own heart provides and protects his wife and his family. We women who have known such a man, been married to such a man, are never the same. Dave would tell me, “it’s my job to provide for and protect you” and I’d reply, “and it’s my job to take care of you.”
    As someone later told me, “that’s Marriage 101” and I add, “Jesus style”.

  16. I have been a reader for a long time and this is, by far, my favorite post. The picture is so fitting and beautiful. You captured her love and respect for her dad:). True love is sacrifice.

  17. Edie, Our sweet dear sister!! Just in case you EVER wonder if what you are doing is good enough? YES!! Christ shines boundlessly through your writings. I have only been here for about a month and already several times I have read posts that say “This is your best yet and that is saying something!” Then you do it again. What a beautiful and inspiring gift, from our magnificent Lord, you are to so many. Thank you precious lady for your testimonies of steadfast faith and your eager willingness to share your talents (and humanness) with us. I can’t help but love you!! But then, God knew I would. May God continue to bless you and your family!!

  18. To have that kind of love waiting for me in heaven, which I know I do, is the greatest blessing of all. To have it here on earth in a partner, would be heaven on earth. I continue to wait, pray, and praise God for that day.
    Continued blessings….Robinanne

  19. That was so beautifully expressed. That warmed my heart and brought tears down my face.
    Thank you for reminding me the true meaning of LOVE!

  20. I’m so moved by your words in this post…your heart.
    Love is so much more than chocolate and flowers and a great meal out.
    Love is death to self…setting aside that thing in us that craves more for ourselves.

    I’m guilty in the worst way of being selfish with my time…especially with my kids.

    praying the Lord seeps his truth into my heart…and his grace…praying i love a little more like he has loved me.

  21. Your one amazing person. I often can’t find the words and i just love when someone can explain a feeling so well and can bring it to life. I am so glad i have found your blog, I admire you in so many ways.

    Thanks for being a real person!

    Megan

  22. Edie- this is just so lovely. It’s amazing how a life experience can leave you eternally grateful! I so appreciate the words that come from your heart 🙂

  23. You share so many of this life’s treasures with us, Edie; your home, your thoughts, your friendship, your creativity, your convictions, sound teaching, and instruction. I love you, your children, your words, your passions, your positions, your preaching, and your advice about cowboy boots and lipstick. Your recipes rock, your humor connects, your taste in music and books is impeccable. And, you’ve not withheld any of it.
    And, although that is an impressive list, the one that I’ve not included and that has caught my attention before, but this time takes my breath away, is how you share your beloved. Steve’s humble, constant, faithful service to his family, his profession, and Christ is love lived out. How generously you share his strengths and point all of us to true love.
    Blessed again and again by your words –
    xoxo
    -Laura

  24. Thank you so much for this. It helped me today – when I was tired and doubtful. It is so true and so full of the spirit of the Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  25. I cannot imagine the fear, the horror, the sadness, the unknowing moments. Fires scare me and if my ‘family was in’ and I was out, I would rush in and not worry about my fear. But I am so very fearful of fires and what it can do to a ‘body’… so glad you all survived. Your husband is a hero.

  26. This is such a precious story and then tied into the love story of Jesus. I’m so glad that Heather Bullard sent her readers here today. Blessings on your family this Easter.
    Karen

  27. Edie, I have read many blogs that have inspired me, but I just found yours today. First I came across the open shelving pros & cons, and then your words about real beauty. love your writing style — the words you select. When I scrolled and found the posts on faith, and read about raging doubt, and then this one on love…*sigh*.. big ol’ tears welled up and I can’t wait to read more! Blessings to you and yours and thank you for sharing your heart in such a genuine way. Lisa

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