Posted by: Kara Luker | December 31, 2019

River of love

Grief QuoteA friend recently posted a short passage on Facebook that said grief is just love with no place to go. I didn’t give it too much thought at the moment, but yesterday while on my walk, it floated into my mind and I couldn’t help but ponder its truth. 

The picture that formed was a river of love thwarted by a dam of death. The river won’t just dry up due to the absence of one beloved whose presence sculpted and filled river beds in the landscape of our hearts. Love doesn’t work that way. Once created, it is a living thing, eternal; restless until its purpose is fulfilled. No, the rain will still come, the mountain snow will melt, and the river will continue to flow. But now, unable to reach the place where it can empty itself, where will it go?

It will pool in one place, rising at times as rivers do, pressing up against the tender truth of an end, irrigating our lives with tears. We might bathe in that reservoir of frustrated love until the moisture has pruned our skin or immerse ourselves until our lungs are at bursting point. But at some point, we will climb back up to where we’ve set up camp on the banks and try to carry on, maybe stand once in a while with our feet in the water looking at the expanse of what could have been. With no apparent path past that dam, it seems the best we can do.

But what if death doesn’t have to thwart love any more than it thwarted life when Jesus was crucified? What if, like the third day in the tomb, it is resurrected into a new kind of life, having only gained scope and power through loss? This, it seems, is a significant part of the process of surrender: That by yielding our ideas of how this river should flow, we allow the Lord to bust down these dams or carve out the ground around them, releasing a wild flow of love from our hearts, not just to those we’ve lost, but to wherever it is needed.

I don’t know exactly what this will look like, but I can think of no better way to honor Cole and the extraordinary love formed in my heart because of him than to pour it out on others. I do know that it can only be done by the Spirit as I continue to yield in trust and ask Him to help me see with new eyes and to love like He does – without end. I can’t wait to see where this river will flow. I’ll keep you posted. And I hope you’ll do the same.

Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8

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