When God’s love language is serving

I don’t remember when it was – perhaps four or six months after the birth. I remember the place – sitting across from Jon, my arms on the big oak dining table, eating a tired dinner with tears.

“Why aren’t you mad at God?” I asked him. “You are going through all of this, just as I am. Why aren’t you mad?”

I was half-accusatory, half wondering.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “I guess it’s because I see Him in the ways we have been so cared for: the ironing done, the meals brought, the flowers, the gifts, the prayers, the faithful emails.” He was, as ever, gentle and sincere.

I didn’t want that.
“That’s not God,” I said. “That’s just the amazingly lovely church family we have, and friends who care for us. I want God to do something. I want to feel His love. No way am I letting God off the hook. I am not giving God credit for something others have done.”


I think back now on that conversation, and combine it with my recent thoughts on spiritual love languages, and I wonder.

Could it be that sometimes God’s love language to me is acts of service?

I don’t want the quiet ways of loving, I want the loud and tangible ones. I want to hear God guide, to feel in my gut His Spirit speaking when I read the Bible. I want to love God in the way I serve Him, not in the ways that others serve me. I needed God and it felt like He didn’t show up.

But now, a year and some months later, I am playing with the possibility that those loving words from friends, the hugs, the ironing, the meals, were also a quiet love sonnet written by the finger of God.

I am asking the question again: was it God, after all?

This was my best five minutes on ‘quiet’. Also linking with

Beholding Glory

Over to you:

  • Have you ever been in a situation where you felt God ministered to you through His people?

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30 Responses to When God’s love language is serving

  1. Nikki 9th November, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Oh Tanya…we could have a good long chat about this. I would spill my painful stories and how I saw God through them. Like you, not always how I would have wanted. And still, He cared for my heart. He spilled love in creative ways.

    Love your raw, honest heart spilled in the space, friend. What a blessing you have been to me!

    Thank you for asking the hard questions.

    • Tanya 10th November, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      Thank you so much, Nikki, for holding the raw stuff as precious and for seeing my heart behind it. I so appreciate it. Thank you for your understanding – sending you much low across an ocean.

  2. Mia 9th November, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I have to tell you. I had the courage today to also link up at Lisa-Jo’s. I wonder why I was so reluctant for I am still alive after I have taken the BIG step! ha,ha,ha……

  3. Holly 9th November, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Oh yes, Tanya, all the while those friends and family attended to your needs, their acts were carving love deep in your darkest heart spaces. That is why, with the grace of time and space, you can now continue gather goodness from it. Praying that you will continue to heal and experience God’s love in new and expansive ways.

    • Tanya 10th November, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Thank you, Holly – ‘carving love deep in my deepest heart spaces’ – yes,nthis is it, exactly. Thank you so much for your prayers.

  4. ro elliott 9th November, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    oh yes…quiet love sonnets…how we miss this beautiful music to…to often~ have a wonderful weekend~blessings~

    • Tanya 10th November, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      Thank you so much, Ro – yes, those quiet love sonnets!

  5. denise 9th November, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Powerful post, bless you.

    • Tanya 9th November, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you!

  6. Mia 9th November, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Dear Tanya
    It is so precious, our Pappa’s sense of humor. You are so much like my husband and I am so much like yours. I can be quiet in His Embrace, but boy oh boy, my Hubbie is forever running ahead of his thoughts! I have made that a serious case of prayer, but could only sense Pappa telling me that I needed to change and accept Hubbie the way he is. So, well, what shall we say! Hope you are well!
    Much love to you

    • Tanya 9th November, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      How funny that you understand it all, but from the other way round! I think you are very wise…
      Much love
      T xx

  7. Joy Lenton 9th November, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Another beautiful and honest reflection, Tanya. I’m always amazed at how much you pack into these ‘5 Minute Friday’ thoughts! They are a great encouragement to me and many others too.
    It has been growing on me too how often God expresses His loving presence through the grace-filled words and deeds of His people. There have been numerous situations in my own life where I look back in wonder and say, “That was God!”. Yet, at the time it wasn’t always clear that the kindness rendered, acts of service performed, encouraging cards and words arriving just when I needed them etc. were God’s way of showing me He is ever-present and continually pouring out His goodness through the hands, feet, and words of others.
    As we stay in tune with the Holy Spirit, He seems to suggest ways in which we can positively enrich the lives of others around us by various means and also gives us an awareness of God’s finger of love being shown to us too in these seemingly random acts of service. For as Elizabeth Barrett Browning said: “Earth’s crammed with heaven”. We only need eyes to see and marvel afresh. 🙂

    • Tanya 9th November, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      I always love the way you put things, Joy. That’s the thing, isn’t it – that it isn’t always clear at the time, but looking back it seems that God was at work. It has been very healing for me to remember that conversation I had with Jon with fresh eyes.

  8. Kris 9th November, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Raw words here today, I love that you ask this question, that you’re seeking God’s hands in your life. I believe God does love us this way, through the gifts and generosity of others. We cannot give good gifts apart from Him, so when your sisters in Christ extend their offerings, it must be because He woos them to do so. He loves you deep, my friend, and what a beautiful way He has shown it to you, through the generosity and kindness of others, as they serve you. Praying you’d know that today and be encouraged and strengtehend by His outrageous love for you. ( I found you through Five Minute friday, and I’m thankful for that today!)

    • Tanya 9th November, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Thank you so much for this – I’m glad you found me here today!

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