‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LOVE does

I'm doing much better. Allowing ourselves to grieve losses is important. Even if they are relatively small losses in other peoples' eyes. Even if they seem small compared to the losses others are experiencing. Grieving is not only natural, it is imperative. And so, I grieved hard for a few days, and it has helped.

This has been an incredible week of loss. Aside from my own losses connected to D's adoption, I heard the sickening news of my friend Annie's loss of her dear son, Ilya, to suicide.  I haven't been able to wrap my head around it yet, but have thrown myself wholeheartedly into holding Annie up in prayer and praying deeply and fervently for Ilya's peace. My heart is broken for Annie, who is one of the world's most tender-hearted, kind, and selfless beings you'd ever wish to meet. I cannot imagine her pain, and I grieve with her and pray that God will make Himself known to her in these dark days.

I also have not been able to escape the news of the Krim family in NYC. Upon hearing the graphic details on TV two nights ago, I was so overcome I threw up. The description of Marina Krim grieving in the lobby of her building while clasping her remaining little one literally knocked the wind out of me. Before I knew what was happening, I had to race to the bathroom to throw up. Shock, I guess. Deep, deep heartache. Mothers across the world are united by the bonds we have with our children. When one grieves, we all grieve on some undefinable level.

And here's where I move the focus elsewhere. While we don't have power over many of these horrible things, we do have the gift of free will to act afterwards. Our friends don't have to grieve alone. We can 'DO'. Love 'does'. Love acts! We can share the burden our friends are suffering, we can hold them up, we can nurture their ruptured hearts, we can provide food or donate funds to funeral costs, we can clean up messy houses, we can send a heartfelt letter, we can hug them, we can talk, we can listen.

Thanks to my beloved friend Tesney, I am reading a wonderful book right now that is a balm in this difficult time. It is LOVE DOES by Bob Goff. It was the perfect reminder at the perfect time, that Love ACTS, Love MOVES, Love DOES. And sometimes the things Love does look crazy, or ill-timed, or outrageous. But Love is outrageous. Love often calls us to do the unthinkable, the unimaginable, even the impossible. Those of us who say yes are usually rewarded with quite the adventure! It's not easy, but it is what is called for if we want what is highest and best for this world.

The road to adopt Anya and Daniel has been nothing short of devastating, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't have tried or shouldn't keep trying. The most important journeys of our lives are often the most difficult. If we walk away in defeat to early, we could lose out on the greatest triumph of our lives. We need to live each day DOING what Love calls us to DO, even if it's hard - even if it involves days and even months or even YEARS of grieving. Even if everyone else around you says it's IMPOSSIBLE. 

Love DOES. 

I wish more than anything I could take away Annie's pain, but I can't. I wish more than I can express that I could place those beautiful Krim children back in their mother's arms, alive, but I'm powerless to do so. I wish I could take Anya and Daniel out of the empty, indifferent worlds they were born into, and place them in my own arms here in the home that waits for them, but I have tried and failed a hundred times. 

But I do have the power to choose. I can keep moving forward. I can keep choosing Love. I can keep trying. One tiny step at a time.  And that's what I choose to do. 'LOVE DOES'. I know now that these are the words written on my heart. LOVE DOES. And I want to be a conduit for that energy. LOVE DOES. I want to be Love's hands and feet, even when it hurts. LOVE DOES. I want to do the hard things, the impossible things, because that is the very thing we were created to do while we are alive on this planet.

Love does. And so do I.


  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Keri - thank you so much for this post. I have to admit, I have been grieving for both Annie and for you for the last week. The two of you (and your families) have been first and foremost in my prayers constantly. You are an inspiration. Reading your uplifting post is really an inspiration for me in dealing with the day to day "little stuff..."

    1. Thank you Debby :)))

      I just keep being reminded to look past the pain, the grief, the failures and just TRUST. I am realistic enough to know that I may not get to see Anya and Daniel under my roof in this lifetime, but that fact does not give me the right to give up. Even the simple act of our choosing always to keep moving forward can be used by God as a reminder to others who need to keep moving, too. I know now that just loving Anya as deeply ( and practically) as I can had made a life and death difference to her. Providing her funds to live on, sending letters, care packages - these may seem small, but I see now they have taught her about Love even when I can't be with her. Same ith DAniel, though to a lesser extent, it seems:(

      This week has been so hard, and I've cried so deeply, but I know God is faithful and that LOVE WINS in the end. I just need to keep my eye on that most important truth and it will keep me afloat thru the bad days. Love you and THANK you for all you do for me in my times of need. You are truly a gift.

  2. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Keri, now I am even more excited to read "Love Does"! I got it for Christmas (or, will be getting it.. lol)!


  3. I am speechless. Your words are wonderful.

  4. Oh Keri,
    I have been so upset with Annie's news too. And then there was that wonderful news you got and it didn't come through. I was so so depressed about it. I thought here was the bright light that we have been looking for! (I know it was your news, but I just felt like this was it! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!) You are such a strong women and a model for all of us! Thank you!

  5. Anonymous6:34 PM

    You are love.

  6. You are amazing. Your words inspire me. Thank you for being who you are.

    I, too, have been grieving for Annie...and for you...and for me...and for others of my friends who are really, really struggling right now. I hate that it has to be so very hard. I hate even more that it's so hard for our kids who are always the ones caught in the crossfire.

    Working on putting one foot in front of the other and choosing love right along with you.

    I noticed you still have my old blog link on your sidebar. Just making sure you know I've moved to http://fromsurvivaltoserenity.blogspot.com

  7. Thanks, Keri, for constantly reminding us that faith is the answer no matter what the question or challenge. You're my hero. Much love and light from Essex.


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!