Monday, May 13, 2013

see what love can do

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, 
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails... 
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. 
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 
But the greatest of these is love." -I Cor 13:1-13

Over the past number of years, I have come to love and appreciate many fine qualities about my little brother. Anyone who truly takes the time to get to know him, will recognize and come to love these qualities as well. Over the past few years, I have found great joy in watching my little brother grow up into the man he is today. He truly exemplifies Biblical love in all he does. And his story illustrates what love can do to change a life:

For those of you who don't know him,  Dan is a gentle giant. Although he is by far the most physically strong man I know, he also possesses an incredibly tender heart. He can chop wood all day at an almost super-human pace, single-handedly move heavy furniture without breaking a sweat, yet handle an injured animal or stop to pet a kitten with amazing gentleness. 

Dan always puts other people's needs first. (Maybe this is why his own house renovations aren't finished yet.) Last week, when the vehicle I was driving broke down, Dan left work and came to rescue me within minutes of my call. Ask him to give you a hand with something, move something, or fix something, and he'll be right there. Dan never asks for, or expects anything in return--he just does it.

Dan is a man of few words. He doesn't always have much to say, and unfortunately many people take that to mean he's slow or stupid. This is far from the truth! Give Dan a job to do with his hands, show him what you want done, and he'll do it. Well. From building a house, to fixing a car or lawnmower, to driving a huge tractor, Dan's got it covered. But when he does say something, you can bet it's the truth.

Dan is slow to anger, quick to forgive, incredibly loyal, and honest as the day is long. But in spite of all these talents, I believe that for many years, Dan sold himself short. He assumed he wasn't smart enough to go to college. He settled for a dead-end job. He put up with insults and put-downs. He hung around people that fed into the lies he came to believe about himself.

But then God showed up. And how he changed Dan's life just goes to show what love can do:

Dan found true brotherhood. In the midst of what appeared to some as stupid, irresponsible, and reckless fun, he forged a life-long friendship. Because someone took the time to see his heart, to encourage him, mentor him and love him, he grew in confidence about himself and in his abilities. That's what love can do.

Dan found a wife. Because of her, he came to believe that he had strength and protection to offer to a woman. That's what love can do.

Dan discovered his true vocation. Because of the support he received from his wife and some true friends, he began to realize that his passion was for cars, and that a career in auto mechanics could be a reality. That's what love can do.

Dan had the guts to pursue his dreams. When God opened a door, Dan walked through it with confidence and was hired as an apprentice mechanic on the spot. Dan plans to go to college in the fall. That's what love can do.

Dan started a family. Evelena Marie was born on April 26, 2013 and my baby brother now has a beautiful baby of his own. That's what love can do.

My sister-in-law couldn't have summed it up any better, when she posted on Facebook yesterday: "Happy Birthday to an amazing hubby! So proud of you for following your dreams and becoming the man/husband/father you are today! Love you so much!" 

Indeed! We love you and we're so proud of you, Bro! Happy Birthday! We can't wait to see where God takes you next. xo

To those of you who have taken the time to see Dan's heart, and be his friend, thank you. To those of you who have taken it a step further, and walked with him and mentored his heart, thank you. To those of you who have never stopped believing in him and praying for him, thank you.  I firmly believe that it is because of your prayers, support, brotherhood, and ultimately  your LOVE, that Dan is where he is today.  (And to those who were so quick to write him off based on their own assumptions and judgments, you have clearly missed out--and that's your loss.)


  1. That's really beautifully written, Donna. I can't believe your wee little brother is all growed up! :)

  2. Thanks, Jenn! Seems like just yesterday we were all playing school downstairs in my parents' basement! :)