Love @ Thanksgiving
November 23, 2013 § 3 Comments
“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 that 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, The Four Loves
Life is difficult. This is the first line of M. Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled. Life is difficult, and love sometimes seems an unobtainable dream in the disappointments, pitfalls and disparities of life as it wears on.
Broken hearts. Broken promises. Unrealized dreams. Unforeseen calamities. Unbearable trials. Painful seasons. Haunting Regrets. Betrayals. Sedentary Relationships.
All have their ways of extinguishing the dream of love.
The picture posted above is from our basement wall. Katherine and one of our daughters had left the house to me while I painted, and to signal to them that the work had begun, I painted the now-famous heart – the less-than-three sign. Once that went on the wall, the commitment was made. Someone had to slosh the walls with blue.
It is curious to me that the closer he moved to the Cross the more Jesus’ teachings were predominated by love, particularly with His disciples who that very evening would betray and abandon Him to His captors
Our instinct is to do the opposite. Whenever disappointment threatens, we tend to insulate ourselves against fresh experiences with pain. We say and do harmful things to protect our fragile hearts. We force ourselves to be cold and uncaring.
Love is the last thing we want to risk our vulnerabilities on because we are never more exposed than when we open our hearts to the possibility of their being broken.
I get that. Life is difficult and Love is terrifying. Who has room for Love and all the mess it brings?
But it is also what we most yearn for. To love and be loved. And someone has to make the first move. Someone has to start painting.
So God did.
Let it be your prompt to love those who may be hiding from you behind their own self-protections, though every bit as terrified. Start painting. Forgiveness, tenderness and vulnerability are scandalously risky. We know. Jesus went there for us. Trust me, Love is the first stroke.
He knew the risks when He opened His mouth to call the disciples His friends. Amazingly, to Him they were worth it.
So are you.
What good news.