Appearance of Love

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The kitchen sink

I wield my vacuum as a weapon, valiantly sucking away the crumbs and hair and dust that tells of our everyday existence. Creating a story that is not my own, one where I am tidy and my children are constantly bathed and my stove does not have dirty pots on it. All for the sake of someone I know doesn’t truly care.

I still feel the urge. The need to hide what’s there, what is true. The knowledge of what I need to fix in myself. The disgust with my body, my home, the ants dancing across the bathroom floor.

Do I do the same thing here, in my home on the Web? Show only what I think others can stomach; make myself look better, holier, thinner than I am?

I revel in the sacred moments but fail to reveal that they are too rare. I’ve not shared with many my Lenten sacrifices, because I would be forced to admit I have fully kept to neither.

I tell of my battle with depression, but not about the day where I couldn’t stop crying and screamed at my babies and had to have a friend take them somewhere else.

I don’t ever want to be too proud to be true. In love, I show you who I am. Run quickly, or stay around and have a cup of coffee and confess that you, too, screw up. I’ll love you either way.


I want to turn Romans 12 into a painting, something I can see in my house every day:

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”  says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (NIV).

Here is some of Matthew Henry’s commentary on verses 9-16:

“True Christian love will make us take part in the sorrows and joys of each other. Labour as much as you can to agree in the same spiritual truths; and when you come short of that, yet agree in affection. Look upon worldly pomp and dignity with holy contempt. Do not mind it; be not in love with it. Be reconciled to the place God in his providence puts you in, whatever it be. Nothing is below us, but sin. We shall never find in our hearts to condescend to others, while we indulge conceit of ourselves; therefore that must be mortified.”

True Love. Reconciled.

I seem to recall a fitting picture of those words.

Heddal Cross

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7 thoughts on “Appearance of Love

  1. Dear Jessie,
    Thanks for sharing this, I really appreciate the forwardness of it. Your words, "I still feel the urge. The need to hide what's there, what is true. The knowledge of what I need to fix in myself" is something I know that I have struggled with a lot. It is so much easier to show a face of confidence to the world than to admit that you are in constant need of improvement. Be strong, I am praying for you this week with a passage from Philippians 1 in mind: "I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. "
    Love you big sis!

    p.s. If you really do want Romans 12 made into a painting, remind me closer to Christmas

  2. You are one amazing human being, one I would love to have the privilege of knowing and being friends with in person. Thank you for your candor and honesty.

  3. Jessie,
    I'll have a cup of coffee with you. I'll stick around. I have so many short comings and yet I find myself wanting to deny them all. To tell a different story to the people that might now know me as well. But deep down, I'm very broken. I cry at the pain of daily having to be patient and reliable to the people that need me. I am so far from perfect and I just need to accept it. To rely wholly on Jesus for his amazing grace. Thank you for letting me share. You are not alone.

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I also suffer with depression and have felt the urge to share that, but I'm too afraid of what others would think. It's 'easier' to pretend I have it all together, when some days that's far from the truth.

    I appreciate your honesty and hope I have the courage to be as true to who I am as you are.

  5. There is a beauty in "real" that far outshines picture perfect. Sometimes it's easier to see than others.

    Beauty in the broken, Jessie xo.

  6. You are a WONDERFUL mother for putting your children in a safe place when necessary and taking care of YOU so you can take care of OTHERS.
    I'm working through your archives tonight. They're making me feel less alone.
    – Molly

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