An Overture of Love

These are polarizing times. Opinions become hardline stances and it can be difficult to see past the opinion and see the human behind it. I believe that we, as divinely loved children, should be on the front lines, making overtures of kindness. We need to be initiating and drawing others into safe places of conversation, listening to the stories of those different than us. There is a time to debate and there is a time where the grandest gesture is to sit at the table and pray that God would open our eyes to see His beloved.

We can follow and unfollow anyone we want on social media. We can listen to news sources that confirm our bias. It is easier to push away any opinions that differ from our own, than to actually sit with it. I read an article recently that said people are more likely to disagree with a written statement, than they would be if they heard the actual words coming from someone’s mouth. As important as the written word is, we cannot see the person’s expressions or hear their heart as clearly as when we are right there with them. I’m not saying it is always easier or that we always agree, but so much can be misunderstood in writing. It’s one reason that, although I really don’t like talking on the phone, sometimes I get so fed up with miscommunication through text (What did he really mean by that? Ooh, wait, how did that come across?) that I have to pick up the phone to clear it up.

This idea of an overture, of initiating those conversations, has been made clearer to me the last few years. Back in 2004, my oldest brother came out as gay. I was just wrapping up my first year in Mongolia when I received the email. It was such a vast array of emotions, the biggest one being deep grief at how things would never be the same between us. The summer before I left, we had spent basically all our time together. Christopher had always been a kindred spirit and best friend. I knew going back, that my family life would be completely different, that my parents would be wrestling with how to respond. I didn’t even know myself how to act around him now.

I wish I could say that we handled it perfectly. We didn’t. There was much hurt and the relationship felt broken and possibly too wounded to repair. How could we reconcile our beliefs with his lifestyle? In a way, being overseas made it a bit easier. I could go on with life and not think about it too much. But it wasn’t okay. My brother was estranged from our family. There was anger and bitterness that we did not know what to do with. And so we did what many “good” families do in these situations—nothing.

Fast forward ten years. My husband and I had just moved back to the United States, and it felt like ignoring the issues was no longer going to work. Not knowing if my other family members would be supportive or not, I flew out to New York City to spend the weekend with Christopher and his husband. I didn’t know what I would say or do. I didn’t know how he would act. Once we got past the initial awkwardness of not having seen each other in years, we sat down for supper at a Korean BBQ and he just started talking–about the hurt and the pain that he had experienced, about our response. And it was hard.

And then he said something that completely floored me.

He said, “You know, Danielle. I know what you think, and I know what you believe. But it means so much to me that you would come here.” And that’s when it clicked for me. Of course he knew how important my faith was to me. But what he didn’t know was how much I loved him. That one moment changed the trajectory of our relationship once again. I was free to love him. So simple, right? But sometimes so hard to get to that point.

This past fall after years of not being home, Christopher walked into our home with his husband and their daughter. My parents and my other brother’s family and my family still hold fast to the doctrinal truths of Scripture, but we have been freed up to love in ways that seemed impossible fifteen years ago. We finally have a family picture with every single family member in it, and I cannot begin to tell you how huge that is. It brings me to tears.

And so I want to encourage you today. Maybe you are known for your strong faith, but are you also known for your love? Are you known to be a bridge for those who need someone to fill that gap? Who can you sit down at the table with today?

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but I have not love, I gain nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash



  1. Ruth Felt March 4, 2018

    Danielle, I always like what you write so I may have come in with a bias, but I really like what you wrote! 🙂 It is amazing how powerful our demonstrations of love can be, when we make that extra effort to reach out to people and show they matter to us.

    1. Danielle Krouch March 5, 2018

      Thank you, Ruth! I think we can sometimes let our convictions override our love, and I know for me, it has been a journey!

  2. Monica March 5, 2018

    This was a powerful post, THANK YOU for sharing this part of your life and story. I have a feeling I will be reflecting on the ‘overture of love’ theme a lot this week, as I prepare to ‘sit down at the table’ with some loved ones in a few days – I hope to be an encouragement, despite the hurt that exists. I find myself, in these sorts of situations, clinging tightly to the Lord for Hope and wisdom. Thank you again for sharing!

    1. Danielle Krouch March 5, 2018

      Yes, cling to the Lord! I’ll be praying for you as “sit down at the table” with your loved ones. It’s not always easy, but I believe these overtures are necessary in our relationships.

  3. Ashley Felder March 5, 2018

    Beautiful. It’s not easy, indeed! I’ve had a similar experience with a friend from high school. Through her drastic life choices, I stuck by her side when many left. She has commented how much it means to her. I plan to keep sticking. Not to say that I’m great in every relationship, but this is a great reminder that ultimately, no matter what decisions people are making, they just want to be loved and cared for.

    1. Danielle Krouch March 5, 2018

      Exactly, Ashley! I’m sure your friend is so thankful to have you by her side. I need this reminder myself in other relationships.

  4. Rachel March 5, 2018

    This hit the spot today. My husband and his brother feel disconnected since we returned from the field and your post was a breath of fresh air, reminding me that this could turn out better than the fears I tend to focus on. It’s been easier to ignore than face what divides our families. Thank you for your beautiful example of reaching out and just listening and loving. I needed to hear that today.

    1. Danielle Krouch March 5, 2018

      Oh Rachel, my heart goes out to you and your husband. I know very well what that divide feels likes. I’ll be praying that your families will be able to face each other in love and seek connection, rather than distance.

  5. Rhonda March 5, 2018


  6. Grace L March 5, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this, Danielle. My husband’s oldest son came out as gay many years ago and we have struggled with it, all the while trying to be as loving and accepting as we can be. Later this month we will go to dinner at his house with his long-term boyfriend. I needed to read this today and I know it will help me to be move loving as we spend time with them.

    1. Danielle Krouch March 5, 2018

      It is hard when our beliefs run counter to others and still act out of love. These meetings can be awkward and hard, but I also believe they can be redemptive. I pray your dinner goes well and that you will be able to see out of our Father’s eyes. I pray the same for your husband.

  7. Spring March 6, 2018

    Thank you for your honesty in sharing the journey. I am captivated by your use of the line I am free to love him! How true this is!

  8. Elisa Groth March 7, 2018

    Yes, Danielle! Thank you ever so much for this post! Thank you for sharing your story. Homosexuality is growing in leaps and bounds in my country of service especially among students in Universities. I actually, don’t think it’s grown, I just think it’s becoming more and more ok to stop hiding it. It’s becoming super accepted and on an American/Worldly trajectory. That being said, because of that there are more open conversations and debates about happening with my students. It has been hard because like you I have truths I hold so dearly to. BUT I too have been challenged to love these students well. One of my students invited me into the conversation and we had an amazing discussion. Another, is angry and bitter himself and will slay anyone who even hints that they disagree with his lifestyle. (He has been very hurt!) I haven’t read all of the comments above but one book that helped me tremendously as I learned more about this topic and asked myself how would Jesus love these children of his was “The Confessions of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Butterfield. She’s amazing! Have any of the rest of you read that book or any of her others?! She sets a mighty fine table for discussion and loves anyone with reckless abandon! 🙂 What a great way to live and show Him to others!

    1. Michele March 10, 2018

      Thanks for the book recommendation, Elisa! The title I found on Amazon was ‘The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert’. Is that the one you meant, or is there another one I’m missing? Same author, and it looks like what you were talking about. Anyway, it’s on my list now!

  9. Michele March 10, 2018

    I also really appreciated this post… I have started going back to the US every summer to help babysit my sister’s youngest, and her oldest’s daughter. She has four children with three different dads and is still unmarried, but seeing another guy. We love each other, but obviously have very different lifestyles stemming from very different world views, and spending so much time right in the family so regularly after years of being away with less frequent contact, the tension has sort of risen to the surface more. The political climate and polarization in the US have not helped and I find myself fighting anxiety every trip back now. I read this post several days ago and didn’t have time to comment, but the phrase ‘free to love’ has been in my heart and prayers all week, and I intend to keep meditating on those words and asking the Lord to help me to specifically apply them in my own family situation. Thanks, Danielle!

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