Posted by: Kara Luker | March 7, 2023

Resurrected love

I wrote the following post in 2019, the year after my 22 year old son, Cole, committed suicide. I wanted to share it again followed by a few more thoughts…

Grief Quote

A 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


I am in my living room as Chase is racing around the sofa with two other boys in intense pursuit of each other’s lego Star Wars ships. The boys, 7 and 11 year old brothers, have been staying with us this week while their mom works on housing for their family. It has been a far livelier household than we are used to, with a lot of joy but also some challenges and complicated emotions for these kids who have been through a lot. God has shown up in ways that have astonished me, providing needed wisdom and a surprisingly deep level of love. 

To find this kind of love in my heart for kids who were recently strangers is fairly shocking to me. I’ve always embraced the idea of sacrificial love, but have typically fallen short in the actual doing of it. It’s costly, you know? And yet, this week the cost feels worth it; almost like I’m walking away with more than I have given. I have felt the same with the couple of other kids we have hosted. It’s as if God is using our small amount of willingness and availability to do something sacred and lasting, far beyond our ability.

Well, I started this post over the weekend and got swept away with the rushing current of three boys and a dog. After a week of hosting the brothers, we handed them off to another host family yesterday. It was hard for me. I mean, life is decidedly easier without them, but my heart got invested and I want them to feel secure, known and loved, just as I do my own kids. So I will be praying and trusting that God is going to keep meeting their needs and depositing into their hearts through his Spirit and this amazing community of people.

But this got me thinking about how becoming a mom to Cole over 27 years ago was the first time I understood how an inherently selfish person like me could love someone so much that there would be a joyful willingness to sacrifice for them. And then it got me thinking about the cry of my heart after Cole’s death for God to repurpose that love so that it could be used for others. I feel like I am experiencing the first itty bitty sprouts popping through the surface in response to those desires and prayers. My prayer is that it is only the beginning; that a fruitful garden of God’s love would grow into the fulness of what began through Cole’s life and is being resurrected into something of greater scope and power through his death. Would you join me in that prayer?


  1. Very touching post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you! 💗

  2. “…to repurpose that love so that it could be used for others.” Joining with you in this prayer, Kara. Thank you for this beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much, Kim!

  3. Yes!

    • Thank you! 💕

  4. Your thoughts in the midst of grief are remarkably profound, Kara: “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?” Joining you now and beyond now in that closing prayer.

    • A very belated thank you, Mitch… both for your encouragement and your prayer!

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