Love Well

By Kendra Woody
My good friend (let’s call him Andy) is devastated by the news that his wife of 40 years has cancer. Maybe even more than one would expect. You see, Andy has his own health concerns, as well. His disease is robbing him of his memory and his sight. His wife does everything for him. She drives him, pours his milk, and reads his phone. He is becoming more and more limited in his ability to care for himself.

When I heard this sad news about his wife, I was crushed! I immediately asked God to give me words to share with him. Not just words that filled the air, but words that meant something. Whenever Andy is in the building, usually a couple times a week, he always stops by my office and chats. I have grown to truly enjoy our chats. He, too, is an extrovert and we bounce around a conversation as if it’s a hot potato.

A few days after I learned the sad news, Andy steps in my office and says, “Did you hear?” I could hear the shaking in his voice as if he was about to break out in a good cry. I took a deep breath, and in my head, began to beg God for the words to fill the long pause. I could feel the Spirit stir up inside of me. Perhaps, you are aware of that feeling. Palms get sweaty. Heart starts to pump a little harder. I’d like to think we have all experienced that feeling. Then it happened… My voice and words were flowing as if harp music was playing in the background. Like a scene from a well-scripted movie.

Here’s what I recall from that moment. I told him to focus on and DO what he could, and I am sure she would understand. I told him to hold her hand and do it well. To rub her back and do it well. I told him to be empathetic to her and do it well. To offer an ear and let her vent and complain and do it well. Just continue to love her and do it well! Rediscover what you CAN do, and don’t focus on what you can’t! Just like God has instructed us to Love each other. “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34)

Oh, and how well HE loves us! God asks us to do the best we can every day. He knows it won’t be perfect. He knows we will struggle. We can only hope to have the privilege to love others and love them well!

As a tear flowed down Andy’s face, he states his surprise. He was surprised that I had thought of him. No one had done that yet since the news broke. He was taken back by my words that didn’t just fill the air, they filled his heart. He continues… how he was scared not only for his wife but for himself, as well. A new normal was waiting on the horizon for their family.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 NLT

Shortly after, we were interrupted by his wife. She had just arrived from a doctor’s appointment to pick him up. Here was something else he felt helpless about. His family decided he wasn’t going to be able to accompany her to any of her appointments. Andy gets lost easily and that could potentially be extra stress added to an already stressful situation. As the conversation moves outside my office with others joining in, he started talking about his daughter and the fact that she goes with his wife to her appointments. He continued saying that she lived close by and has a small dog. Then his face lit up and he looked at me and said, “I watch the dog! That’s what I do! I can do that!” I smiled back at him and said, “Yes! Yes, you can, and I am sure you do it well.”

In Paul’s description of love he leaves no room for it to be anything less than attending to the needs of others. The gifts of the Spirit, as useful as they were for the gathered community, were meaningless when performed for personal glory or selfish ambition. Paul begins his description of the character of love by mentioning two positive attributes: patience and kindness. Paul follows that by contrasting love to negative attributes: envy, boastfulness, arrogance and rudeness. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. (1 Cor 13:4-5).

In the end, Paul states positively that love “rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor 13:6-7). Paul makes it clear that love begins when someone else’s needs supersedes one’s own.

Love Well.

Love well with an open heart. Love well with patience. Love well with kindness.

Whatever your “well’ is… do that!


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I’m a Michigan girl born and raised, but a Californian by heart.  I love being creative and express it through photography, writing, baking, and crafting (to name just a few). I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to learn how to become more and more effective as a mom, stepmom, Nana, and pastor’s wife..  Sharing the beauty I discover, the God I know, and the life I have chosen to embrace with God brings me great joy and fulfillment. The path I walk is my own (and God’s), but maybe you will find something here to inspire your own journey. 

2 Responses to “Love Well”

  1. Pamela Nelson says:

    What a thoughtful account and so inspirational. I often feel the need to fill the silence with words to “fix” everything. But I need to lean on God for the guidance instead of my own understanding.

  2. Linda Marsh says:

    Love seeing Jesus in you Kendra!
    When we let go of ourselves and let God work through us, we are making great use of the Holy Spirit’s power in us.

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