To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in the casket safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. C.S. Lewis 4 Loves.
Thanks Tam for helping me re-find this quote. It has brought me great comfort through a week that has felt tougher than the "tough mudder." As some of you know I did the "tough mudder" last June. It is challenging obstacle course where your body is pushed to its furthest physical limits. But heartache and emotional pain are a million times harder to deal with than any physical pain, at least in my experience.
Everyone deals with heartache in some form or another. I love how C. S. Lewis points out so poignantly that our hearts can be broken even by "an animal." How many people have felt the deep sorrow of a pet dying?
Then there is the pain of friends moving away (we miss you, Lisa!). Friends who get married or are preparing to get married like lovely Miss Danielle. I am genuinely happy for the changes in these people's lives. I see they are being led into amazing new opportunities and adventures, but there is also a part of me that is deeply saddened. There's a part of me that suddenly feels lonely and perhaps afraid of a new season that is coming. Change is always hard on my heart.
I always try to be brave and strong through changes. But my ultimate test came when a young man I respect, look up to and would have to confess I am very interested in, hurt me. I realized that the man that I had perhaps idolized is not always sensitive, sweet or kind. When I look back at what happened, it probably had more to do with the fact that men and women seem to speak very different languages. No, not intentionally. He had no idea.I had opened my heart to him at least in part, and he seemed to squish it, or at least ignore it and not understand my words and actions. I went from holding him on the highest pedestal to being angry at him. How does that happen so quickly eh?
But in the midst of my "heartbreak," I am grateful that I had the grace to go to God with my pain. Of course I started my regular complaints about how long I have waited for my husband. Jesus always seems to know how to bring me comfort. Last time I reminded him, "I have been waiting for 32 years for this promise of my husband!" I felt like Jesus gently commented back, "Well, I have been waiting for 2000 years for my Bride to be unified and to love me."
I began to look upon the One who was willing to make Himself vulnerable for me. The one who was willing to have His heart ripped open. I'm speaking of Jesus Christ. Some people have said that when He was crucified, He actually died of a broken heart not from the physical pain. When a spear was driven into His side blood and water flowed out, which is typical of anyone who died of heart break. I can think of no more of a vulnerable place for God's Son to put Himself than with His arms stretched wide open on two sticks of wood between heaven and earth. His body bruised and battered, pulverized by pain and even torture. I know it is a horrific picture, but perhaps it is also a place of healing in that there is no pain that He cannot relate to. God knows our physical pain, but He also knows our relational pain. He was rejected by those who had been His friends. He was betrayed by Judas and even by an expression of intimacy-a kiss.
We still so often reject Him. We chose to walk away or ignore His love. But if we desire, we can still look up at Him and hear Him tenderly ask, "Will You receive what I have done for you?" He has made Himself vulnerable to us. He has bared His heart wide open. He will never deny the love that He has for us. He has chosen to forgive us. He has chosen to continue loving us and make Himself vulnerable despite the heartache we have caused Him by our selfishness or even simply our ignorance.