Sunday, March 7, 2021

Love is a Verb


On my author website, I wrote a piece titled Show, Don’t Tell ( . In it, I explained what the axiom means for a writer. The reader doesn’t want to be spoon-fed, but guided to use his or her imagination when reading.

I think the same is true in life. Words can sometimes get in the way. Even the explanation of a word, love, can somehow make love seem trivial when it isn’t.

Sometimes we say, “I love you!” and one answers, “I love you, too!” and I wonder how much is felt? I wonder if somehow, we’ve lost the meaning of the word. Sad, isn’t it? It’s a little like pulling your car out of the garage, hitting the remote to shut the garage door, driving down the street only to think, ‘Did I shut the garage door?’ And then you drive back to discover that, yes, you did shut the garage door. It becomes habit, automatic, and mindless.

In LinkedIn, I came across a video clip taken from a street camera. An elderly lady stood patiently at a crosswalk as cars sped by. She waited and waited. Finally, a guy on a motorcycle pulled to the side of the road, got off his bike, stopped traffic, and helped the lady cross the street. No horns honked. They waited until not only they crossed the street, but also until the man recrossed the street and got onto his cycle and sped away. That’s love.

I look over my years for examples of love where the word wasn’t spoken, just . . . done. 

My brother, Jim, when his youngest was still in a highchair, would take the food that was prepared and blow on it to cool it off so she wouldn’t burn her tongue. That’s love. My mother, choosing to eat the neck of a turkey or chicken so that us, her children, could have a real meal. That’s love. My brother, Jim, once again, giving up the last spoonful of a chocolate sundae, so his daughter could have it. My dad, working in the basement with me on my eighth grade science project, or my cub scout roller derby, getting it just right for me. That’s love.

So many examples from my life, your life, of love in action. So many examples. Yet, not one needing to declare, “This is love, dammit!”

No. The definition isn’t needed, because love is a verb. It is action. It is doing.

Yes, it’s nice to hear someone say, “I love you!” We need that affirmation as much as flowers need rain and sunshine. But love is also the planting of the flower in the rich soil and getting dirty doing it. That’s love.

Love is a verb. Love is meant to be a verb.

It’s more than a ring on a finger and a change of a last name. It’s more than a sexual act- so much more than that. But yes, it can and should be that as well.

Love is giving. It is hopeful and joyful. It is that suffocating feeling when your heart breaks, or when your heart is so full that it might explode. You can’t define it. You just know it because you feel it. 

John Lennon said, “It matters not who you love; Where you love; Why you love; When you love
Or how you love. It matters only that you love.

Leo Buscaglia said, “What love we've given, we'll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity.

My hope and prayer for you this day is that you think back on all the times love was given to you without announcing it was love. To appreciate the wonderous gifts you were given by countless people, those known to you and those who remained anonymous. More than that, my hope and prayer for you this day is that you love by giving, by doing, by acting out. For after all, love is a verb. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I have an author's website, in addition to my Facebook Author’s Page.

On it, I talk about writing. I introduce characters from my books. I release snippets from those books. I let you in on any interviews I have done. I will let you know of any events coming up for books sales and signings. Mostly, it is my way of reaching out to you so that you get to know my author side of life.

You can find it at:

Other ways you can connect with me on Social Media: 
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor 

Another Five Star Review for my book, Betrayed:
“If I sound inarticulate in this review, it's just me & don't blame the author. Just finished reading Joseph's latest book "Betrayed". Another masterful mystery/thriller. A must read. Once I started, it was difficult to stop. If you haven't read any of Joe's other six books, "Taking Lives", "Stolen Lives", "Shattered Lives", "Splintered Lives", "Caught in a Web" & "Spiral Into Darkness", you are missing out on some fantastic reads. Highly recommend all of his books. 
        – Diane M. Platten

Betrayed: A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader's Ready Recommended Read Award Winner!
A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is willing to talk. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 
The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family.  

Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. 
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them. 
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
A 14-year-old boy knows the end is coming. What he doesn’t know is when, where, or by whom. Without that knowledge, the FBI can protect him or his family. And he cannot protect himself.  
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.     

Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson and Unsplash



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Yes, this is a fabulous way to clarify show don't tell.

  2. Thank you for stopping by and giving it a read. I appreciate it.


Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe