Reading Between the Lines
This past week Tate and I were discussing whether or not I should do a certain activity. It was a worthwhile endeavor, but it would require me to be gone for a few hours one night a week for the next six months. Tate said to me that he already felt like he didn’t get to spend enough time with me, and this would strain the little time we did have even more. More than anything he wanted to just sit on the porch, enjoy my company, and watch the kids play more often.
If I read between the lines, he was saying that he loved me and wanted to spend more time together. This was a hard request to argue with so I decided not to do the activity.
My husband is a man of few words. I knew this when I married him. In fact, our wedding song was “When You Say Nothing At All,” by Alison Krauss. Despite this knowledge, I still desire him to use his words to express his love and affection more than he does. I want him to speak the love language I want to hear. When I tell him this, he tells me I am missing him saying all those things I want to hear. He has been speaking to me in his language. Why can’t we both have the same language?!
Bottom line is we don’t. I knew this when I married him and loved him then as I do now. Instead of looking for him to speak in the way I desire, I need to be more attune to all the many ways he does show his love with his actions. His actions speak volumes.
This is how Christ loves us. So often, we are looking for God to speak words that we can hear in our prayer life, when in reality, he is shouting his love for us in His actions. He comes to us in the Eucharist and gives us His very life. He waits to shower us with His mercy in Confession. He seeks to comfort us with His presence in prayer.
In the Gospels, Christ doesn’t go around hugging everyone and telling them he loves them. Christ shows them his love. He feeds the hungry, cures the ill, and forgives those broken by sin. Ultimately, He lays down his life for us. It’s not hard to read between the lines to see how much Christ loves each and everyone of us.
As Tate’s love was motivation enough for me to put my desires second and him first; how much more should Christ’s perfect love motivate me to do the same. Christ loves me with an everlasting love. A love I can only begin to understand.
If I am going to put Christ first, it is going to require action, not simply words. Matthew 7:21 always speaks to me when Christ says, “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
So as much as it pains me to say this, it seems Tate’s love language is closer to the love language of Christ. I will read between the lines and look for all the ways Tate is showing his love for me. However, you can be sure I will still be pestering him on occasion to speak in my language!
If you don’t feel Christ speaking to you in your life, read between the lines. Go see him in the sacraments, look for Him in the faces of your loved ones, comfort Him by serving the poor and sick. Christ is speaking to each and everyone of us. The question remains, are we really listening?
God grant me the grace to love more than I seek to be loved. JMJ