Coming Home to Love

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Last fall my beloved dog of 17 years died. Anyone who has loved and been loved by a pet knows the deep grief of that loss. I decided to be dog-free for a while. I wanted to give my grief space, not to rush into anything. “A while” lasted a few months. Even in the busyness of the Church year and all that is fall in Kentucky, I felt an emptiness. When I came home, the house felt too big. I realized I missed coming home to love.

So, in a moment of crazy, because I think the most loving things we do have a dose of crazy in them, I went to our local Humane Society and met Evie. Still afraid of whatever we fear after a time of grief, I gave myself a day. Then I returned and came home with her.

Was it love at first sight? Yes.

And I still cried the first day with her. Maybe grief for my loss. Maybe fear. Who knows. But Evie stayed. I stayed. She discovered toys and play. I discovered anything on the floor was an Evie toy, including shoes. For the first few weeks, when I came home she wagged her tail, but still kept her distance. I would sit on the sofa until she came to me and we went for our afternoon walk. We slowly discovered our routine…together.

One day, after a particularly long and stressful day in the office, I came home to Evie, meeting me at the door and bouncing until I picked her up and let her give me Evie kisses.

And I realized I came home to love.

Easter isn’t one day because love in its fullest measure does not happen in one day. It roots and grows over days and weeks and a lifetime. It enters our lives sometimes quietly, sometimes surprisingly, always a change. We may open the door to love after a time of grief or stasis or a period of preparation. On Easter, we are asked to open the door to love in its most glorious expression. That initial meeting, however amazing, is only a first touch of love. Its fullest measure comes as we allow love to grow…and we allow ourselves to be changed by love as Christ moves more fully into our lives.

That’s the myth, isn’t it? That love will fit neatly into the routine of our lives and we won’t have to change – at all. The truth is love, no matter how it’s embodied, invites us to change. Because of Evie, my shoes all live at a safe height. Because of Christ’s Resurrection, humanity lives into new heights and depths of love.

This season, discover Easter day by day with us. Let this season of love root in your life and grow in surprising, challenging, even breathtaking ways. Let the growth of love change us all. Holy Week and Easter remind us that love isn’t always sweet or without tears. Love often feels unsteady, and when we welcome it into our lives, we may feel cautious. Even with the joy, this Easter love is a new and mysterious presence in our lives.

Over the 50 Days of Fabulous, many voices on this site explore and discover the love that bursts from the tomb on Easter day. This year, we hope you will join us as we discover Easter’s love together, as we let it fully into our lives, as we explore it recklessly and cautiously.

Easter is coming. Welcome this holy and miraculous love home. And let it grow wildly.

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