The holy mandate--handed down to the disciples in word and in deed--was to follow their Leader into a life of love.

What Does Love Look Like?

This week at my house, love looked like a plate piled high with cheeseburgers. Love resulted in a wheelbarrow loaded down with winter-broken limbs from our back yard. It showed up in new rocker panels for the truck we use in our mowing business–installed by a handy son. Love reached from screen to screen when our blue-eyed granddaughter kissed us goodnight via Facebook Messenger after the virtual story time that is stitching us together in this time of enforced separation.

Maundy Thursday, this fifth day of Holy Week, demands that I examine love in all its forms. Jesus put love on display the night he took up a towel and washed his disciples’ feet like a common house slave. We know they gathered around a meal, and, knowing their hearts so well, Jesus challenged the twelve to rise above their petty rivalries, their political aspirations, and their ethnic pride. The holy mandate–handed down in word and in deed– was to follow their Leader into a life of love:

“I give you a new commandment:  Love one another as I have loved you.”
(John 13:34)

Jesus came into this world knowing that love would lead him to a horrible death.
He came anyway.

We know from experience that love is not safe, and C.S. Lewis puts his finger on the reason why:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. … To love is to be vulnerable.”

The irony of Almighty God becoming vulnerable because of love is staggering, but he shows us the way to true love during this most unusual and most Holy Week:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”

What is God’s specific invitation to you in this holy mandate?
Are you willing to let your heart “be wrung and possibly broken” in the way of love?

How can I pray for you in this pursuit?

Blessings to you on this Maundy Thursday,

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Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

26 thoughts on “What Does Love Look Like?”

  1. I so appreciate this post, Michele. Thank you for reminding me that to love means I will be be vulnerable and risk being broken. My prayer is that I would love God and others with a heart willing to be broken and poured out.

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    1. Yes, the poured out life was modeled for us, but we certainly resist! And I think we also tend to over-spiritualize what love means. It can be as simple as saying yes to another family member’s choice of movie over our own choice!

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  2. Michele,
    Everything Jesus did was driven by love. Even before He was going to a horrible death, He demonstrated to His disciples what love does…it serves. Praying that I would take my cues from His example and love others as I love God and myself. Beautiful reminder this am.!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  3. What a time for us to love one another too…
    I always think of Maundy Thursday & to just imagine how Jesus felt trying to get this words & heart to his disciples knowing what lay ahead – this would be the last time with them…. just heart breaking. But those same men didnt know where they’d be come Sunday 🙂

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  4. Beautiful thoughts on love, Michele. It is true that all love is reflected Love. Loving makes us vulnerable, so it is scary but so is almost anything worth reaching for. My prayer is to empty myself of my “self” in order to give love room to come in.

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    1. Praying that along with you, Laurie. I need the circumference of my heart expanded all the time. It’s so tempting to fall into “safe” and distant instead of close and risky.

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  5. I grasp that love is serving others. But I struggle when it’s inconvenient or clashes with what I want to do, etc. I want it compartmentalized: I’ll serve others in these ways (that I like) at these times. But how inconvenient and messy and disrupting was the cross? Not to mention the years of ministry to throngs of people and slow-to-get-it disciples for years before. I have a long way to go…

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  6. Such truth. I’m not afraid to love but I will give witness to CS’ quote, I can’t every have a doggie friend again because losing Sam was way too hard and something I do not wish to suffer again. xo

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  7. So much truth; love can be so painful at times… but it’s always worth it. Thanks for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

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  8. C. S. Lewis was right: “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” But the opposite–withholding love to protect the heart–would be even worse. The risk is worth it, because in the long run the sublime moments of camaraderie, understanding, warmth, and kinship outweigh the possibility of brokenness. I don’t think our joy can be complete unless we’re demonstrating love to those around us.

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  9. Love is so easy and yet so hard. Yet, where would we be without it? Thank you for linking up and have a blessed Easter Sunday.

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  10. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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