Buy her a new winter coat.
Get up early and bring back coffee and the best cinnamon rolls in Denver.
Head into the mountains for a surprise snowshoe excursion in Breckenridge.
Return to Denver for dinner reservations at her favorite restaurant.
The day was planned perfectly to surprise Kalyn on her birthday.
Then, we got a bunch of snow the night before. The really wet, heavy kind. And I threw out my back shoveling. Because apparently I’m 65.
So instead of a snowshoeing trip, we stayed in, with me flat on the couch.
And instead of doing our back-up plan, shoe shopping and making planters, I had to stay in the car while Kalyn went into stores by herself.
We still got cinnamon rolls in the morning and dinner at Root Down, but overall it wasn’t a very fun day for Kalyn.
While throwing out my back was unfortunate, I was really bummed that I couldn’t adequately show Kalyn how much I love and appreciate and admire her on her birthday.
And it got me thinking that maybe all our inability to love is due to some sort of injury. Maybe the ways we don’t or can’t show appreciation just point to the ways we are hurting.
We can’t love our partners as well as we’d like because someone once rejected us.
We can’t appreciate the friends in front of us because we are being stabbed by our insecurities.
We can’t love our neighbors because we are desperately longing for home.
Truly loving someone exposes our injuries, and maybe that’s why when we try to love or build relationships it can sometimes feel like someone is taking a sledgehammer to our backs.
If this is true, then we don’t need to try harder to be loving. Instead, we need to heal. To let the broken bridges inside us be repaired. To let the decaying cities in our souls be rebuilt. To let the inflamed muscles from any beatings we’ve taken be massaged away by grace.
Loving better and loving more is the fruit of resting in healing grace.
This healing is slow, though. It takes a lifetime and more and probably won’t be complete until Jesus returns.
But little by little, as wounds start to mend, and bruises stop throbbing, and broken bones get set, we start loving in ways and at depths we weren’t able to before.
So in this meantime, while we are still healing, it might do us good to have patience with ourselves and others. We are all walking around with bleeding arms and thrown out backs and injuries that hinder our ability to love well, despite our best intentions and plans.