True Love Is A Verb

Love is something you do. We all know this. But it’s easier to make it about feelings. Because feelings don’t require me to paint the kitchen.

This weekend, because of a strange mix of schedules and latex allergies, I ended up taping and stripping and sanding and patching and climbing ladders and painting. I know experts say there are better ways of managing these things. But none of these experts was willing to come by my house this weekend and help me paint.

It was within my skill set. The opportunity was at hand to fix a problem. So, I did it.

DO Unto Others

The Golden Rule doesn’t say “Feel unto others as you would have them feel unto you.” It doesn’t mention “likes” or emojis. Gift cards apparently don’t play into it either.  Words are no substitute. Flowers don’t say it best. Songs and poems don’t count.

Nope. I have to do something.

But, being a veteran rule-inspector, I noticed that there’s nothing in the Golden Rule that says I can’t make it as enjoyable as possible. Right?

Elmer Bernstein

This is where things take a bit of a strange turn. I’ve recently discovered that writing with movie soundtracks stirs up my creative energy. Lyrics take me off course. After going through John Williams and Hans Zimmer, I discovered the man who inspired these contemporary masters – Elmer Bernstein.

Also known as John Wayne’s favorite composer.

Now you get the picture. Imagine me heroically wielding my paint roller to the sound of sweeping western soundtracks at theater volume. (Yes, I had the house to myself. No complaints from the neighbors – yet.)

Yes, it was still exhausting. Yes, things still went wrong. But it’s done. And I slept really well last night. Thanks, maestro.


The problem with doing things instead of feeling them or thinking them is that I can only do one thing at a time. That means I had to spend my writing day with a paintbrush in my hand.

This is not an excuse. This was a decision.

Life, in the final result, will not be about what we thought or felt. It will be measured by what we did.

We can talk about love and write about love and use heart emojis and explain our intentions. But these things are easy to fake. Jesus taught that we know trees by the fruit they produce. In the same way, we know people by the things they do.

Actions don’t lie.

Paint On The Wall

The good thing about actually doing something is that the results are real. This morning I woke up with paint on the wall. It will be there tomorrow and the day after.

So many things in life are up for debate long after the fact. Did I write a good sentence? Is this song finished? Did I make the right decision? Could I have been more kind? Should I have kept my mouth shut? (Well, okay. Some things are obvious.)

But a good deed done remains done. Today’s paint was yesterday’s decision.

Now, what will I do with today?



Photo by Yoann Siloine on Unsplash


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