When an Arm Breaks, Love Is…

By Jane Highley

In mid-March, on a Sunday morning, I went for a run. Not even 3 miles in, I was down with a broken arm: a mid-shaft fracture of the left humerus, to be precise. I had slipped on a thick patch of ice and broke the backward fall with my arm. I’ll skip the details of the subsequent visit to the ER, the surgery, and the unprecedented pain before and after. Even though this was the most trauma that I have ever physically experienced, I’m all right. As of this writing, it’s been exactly four weeks since the surgery, and all signs, including a post-op x-ray, indicate excellent progress.

My recovery, though, could not have been as pleasantly tolerable without the caring and immediate response of the church. For the past four weeks, we’ve been overwhelmed by love through the meals that our NLD family brought to us. This joyful giving of time, money, and effort is an immeasurable act of love, which reminded me of Paul Tripp’s blog post entitled “23 things that love is.” This list proves that love is a choice, an action, a purposeful decision. Here are three from that list that represent specific demonstrations of love:

LOVE IS…being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger. I am certain that my broken arm complicated Katie’s life when we asked her to watch our kids as we were driving to the ER. But even with a full load of family obligations of her own (and pregnant), she went beyond our request by taking our three kids to church and kept them happily in her home until we came back many hours later that day.

LOVE IS…the willingness to have less time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc. This description of love applies to my husband, TJ, whose long-awaited spring break was disrupted by my accident. His patient response to my inability to do much of anything around the home was to take on my duties of parenting and home management. His day-to-day was completely upended, too, because of doctors’ appointments, prescription pick-ups, and the long day to Center City for my surgery.

LOVE IS…refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired. So many New Life friends offered to help around the house after my surgery. One even offered to come and clean my bathroom on her day off! How much more specific can you get than that? Others encouraged me with cards, emails, and prayers. Our church family knows how to love sacrificially and does so in word and in deed.

This was intended to be a blog post, but really, it’s a long-winded thank you letter. I am so grateful to be part of a church family that eagerly shows the love of Christ.