In Others’ Words: The Comfort of Love

 

CAFS quote Job's comforter 2014

Sometimes loving someone means not saying anything.

Sometimes silence is sacrificial … you give up all your right answers for the sake of someone else’s need to be valued. You choose not to stifle their pain with words, words, and more words.

Love should always be safe. When you tell someone you love them, in a very real sense you are telling them, “You can trust me. With me, you are safe.”

But in the real world, that’s not how it goes. It’s true, as the song says, that you always hurt the one you love.

But here’s the thing: You can change. You can learn to be safe. Safer than you were before. You can learn to be trustworthy. You can learn to love someone better than you did today.

And sometimes the best kind of love — from a friend or a spouse or a family member — is the kind that does nothing more than sit down beside you. Allow you to be where you are at that moment. And, in the silence, you know you are not alone.

In Your Words: We’ve been talking about romance this week, looking at quotes from authors Deborah Raney’s and Becky Wade’s books — and now mine. There are many facets to romance, and one of those facets is friendship — caring that goes beyond the “I’m falling in love with you” feeling. So tell me, where does friendship fit in romance? At the beginning? The middle? Before you fall in love? Or somewhere along the way? And here’s another question for you: How does love equal safety?

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THE I ♡ ROMANCE GIVEAWAY runs from August 18 – August 25 at midnight. Click on the image or enter here for a chance to win one of the three sets of three books from authors Deborah Raney, Becky Wade, and Beth Vogt (me!). The books: Silver Bells, Undeniably Yours, and Catch a Falling Star, are all finalists in the 2014 ACFW Carol Awards romance category.

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7 Comments

  1. August 22, 2014, 3:22 am   /  Reply

    Wow. Those are two DEEP questions!

    Friendship has to be the thread from which love is woven, otherwise it’s cheap crochet-work, and not a tapestry.

    I don’t give friendship easily, because it carries a terrible obligation. “Greater love hath no man, that he would lay down his life for his friends…”

    To have romance without that is simply unthinkable. Sure, it happens all the time, but it’s just a game that way, a means of juggling hearts and laughing at very real heartbreak.

    That kind of romance is a game to fill time, not a love to fill a life.

    And love never equals safety.

    A generation ago, I could not keep the one I loved safe. She was shot in the neck, and died, in spite of all my strength and skill. Terrified for herself, and for the child she carried.

    All “my love” could do was to stand by. My love could return fire (until the stovepipe jam render my weapon useless). My love could take a painful but nonlethal wound. My love could offer what comfort and courage it could as this world faded from her eyes.

    God, how I wish that were an allegorical tale!

    But the point is that love offers comfort, support, and constancy to the limit of our strength, to the limit of ability, and to the limit of perception. These are limits both of human frailty, and emotional weakness. Frailty and weakness that we all share.

    We should not despise this, but we should also not burden our love with a load it can’t carry. We have to find safety elsewhere.

    Our safety has to lie in our will to Faith, our decision to share it, and our discipline to live it. When we realize that our love can’t offer safety…

    …we can be a channel for a Love that does.

    • August 22, 2014, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      Andrew, I’m sorry. It sounds trite, but I truly am sorry for your loss. I’ll join my prayers with Pat’s for you.

      I hadn’t thought about it before, but you’re right, our love can’t offer safety, but we can be a channel for the Love that does. Thank you for this truth.

    • August 22, 2014, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Andrew, I did ask two deep questions today, didn’t I? And I took the idea of romance and love in a different direction too.
      Your answer was quite profound.
      This part stays with me:

      “We should not despise this, but we should also not burden our love with a load it can’t carry. We have to find safety elsewhere.

      Our safety has to lie in our will to Faith, our decision to share it, and our discipline to live it. When we realize that our love can’t offer safety…

      …we can be a channel for a Love that does.”

      The love between two people can be safe — I can know that I can trust another person. I can know that another person will stand up for me or sit in the dirt with me — whatever the need is at the moment. But yes, I also recognize that loving someone doesn’t always mean that I can shield them from harm.

      Thank you for always bringing such honesty to the conversation, my friend.

  2. August 22, 2014, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    Andrew, your words touched me deeply, and knowing nothing I say can really comfort you, instead I offer you my prayers for peace and strength.

    • August 22, 2014, 7:56 am   /  Reply

      The prayers are the best comfort, and the best medicine, Pat – thanks.

  3. August 22, 2014, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    Beth, another great post.

    I’m a firm believer that genuine love grows out of friendship. Friendship fits into all aspects of romance. As the romance grows, so should the friendship.

    As I think more about safety and love, it seems like love can offer an emotional safety, but it’s something that becomes a reality only after a relationship has grown and intrinsic trust can grow between two people.

    • August 22, 2014, 5:00 pm   /  Reply

      You make excellent points, Jeanne, that emotional safety in a relationship only comes over time, after trust has developed between two people.

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