There is luv (l-u-v) and love (l-o-v-e)…

What does love look like? I want to know!

Recently I read a love story and something jumped out at me. (I have not read a love story in years!) Ever since I read it, it has made me think – and I can’t get it out of my mind!

In the book “How I Came to Sparkle Again” – by Kaya McLaren, Tom, Jill and Lisa have a conversation about love and what it means when people say they ‘love you’. From the book:


“People mean different things when they say, ‘I love you.’ They shouldn’t, but they do!”

“Right,” Jill agrees…”I would believe ‘I love you,’ means ‘I am attached to you’.”

Then Tom says: “There is luv, l-u-v, and there is love, l-o-v-e! There is a big difference between ‘luv ya’ and ‘I love you’. Luv just means you feel happy when you’re with them!”

Then Lisa says: “I call that love, that expansive feeling…that’s love to me. When I tell someone I love them, I don’t really mean that I love them, I mean I feel expansive in their presence.”

Tom shook his head. “No, l-o-v-e love is when you would give someone a kidney!”

“Wait,” Lisa says, “So you are saying there is just one kind of love – kidney love?”

“Yes.” says Tom.

“I don’t buy it.” Lisa says. “I think there are lots of different kinds and levels of love. There is expansive love. There is ‘I’d-loan-you-money-love’. There’s ‘I’d take-good-care-of-you-while-you’re-sick-love’.”

Tom stopped her. “All of those are like cents that add up to a dollar, but it still takes a hundred cents to make a dollar. All those steps are significant and made of the same stuff, just like all pennies are money and all dollars are money, but just like you need a hundred cents to have a dollar, you need the willingness to give up a kidney to have love.”

Lisa studied Tom for a moment and Tom could see the question written all over her face. “Would you give up a kidney for me?”

“Yes, I would give you a kidney, Lisa!” Tom replied.

Then Lisa wondered…would she give up a kidney for Tom?


Now, this is only a love story, but it made me think. What do I mean when I say to people “I love you?” Does it mean that I feel ‘expansive’ in their presence, or does it mean that I will sacrifice or give them my kidney? Wow. That is a pretty intense requirement for love, I’d say!

As a human who often fails others and does not love perfectly, I can only desire to have the kind of love that will sacrifice; even if it means I need to give my kidney away.

After pondering this, I think that perhaps kidney love may look like this: 1 Peter 4:8 (AMPC):

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and[a]disregards the offenses of others].”

Isn’t this what Jesus did? He was not only willing to give His kidney…but His whole life! And by doing so, my sins were covered and disregarded.

Today, I look at myself, and ask: What do I mean when I say “I love you”? What about you? I can only acknowledge and say, “Lord, I need more of you in my life! To love the way You do. So that I can mean what I say when I say, “I love you!” That intense, unfailing love – which covers, forgives and disregards the offenses of others!”

So what does love look like? There is  luv (l-u-v) and love (l-o-v-e)…KIDNEY love! And when we have KIDNEY love, we come to sparkle again…and become the light of the world!

You are the light of [Christ to] the world.”
Matt 5:14 (AMPC)