Have you ever been in love? And I’m not talking about the lovey-dovey feeling struck love they talk about on the Bachelor. I’m talking about genuine self-sacrificial love. A love that requires you to get out of yourself and look into the heart of another so you can best serve them. A love that demands pain and sacrifice. A love that demands you to ask God for the grace to keep on fighting and loving until there are no more tears left to cry and you are left with a choice – a choice between good and evil – love or hate, it’s that simple. Those are the only two choices when faced with genuine love in order for it to be considered authentic.
This morning I read one of my favorite passages by C.S. Lewis. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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 and irredeemable. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
I love that, it gives me the chills. Each day is an opportunity for us to greet the morning with a new chance to love. A new chance to be vulnerable with others. A new chance to love someone who so desperately needs to feel and experience the genuine love of the Father. A love that doesn’t weaver. A love that is gentle, patient and reassuring. A love that doesn’t judge. A love without fear.
Vulnerability is hard, it requires you to give of yourself to another, to share your fears, concerns and dreams. To share a piece of your heart with another. To share Jesus with another. A chance for others to see Christ’s love shine through your smile, your words and actions.
Don’t keep your heart locked away, make the conscious effort to get out of yourself today and be vulnerable. And I’m not talking about a vulnerability that isn’t tempered with prudence. Every day we wake up with a choice to make – a choice to keep our heart as C.S. Lewis says, “in the casket” or to modestly expose our heart to those in our path. To take the risk to love until it hurts. And sometimes life might surprise us and our encounters will be relatively painless. But when the pain comes, as inevitably it will, that is when the real challenge presents itself – that is when we must choose once again to keep on fighting – to keep on fighting Him with love.