Love is a funny thing. I’ve thought a lot about what it means to truly love this week. I feel like a lot of people I know have experienced loss lately and it makes me think about how vulnerable love can make you. It’s harder to love. Life would be so much easier if we kept our hearts in glass boxes where they were visible, but untouchable….protecting them from ever breaking. But I think there’s something to be said for the breaking process. When a bone breaks, your body begins a healing process that “knits” the bone back together. When the bone heals properly it can actually be stronger than it was before. Sometimes love can be like broken bones. Our spirit finds that while we sit amongst the rubble of what seems like a dismantling of our hearts, it is in the shadow of that moment that we find our quietest strength. Strength we didn’t know we possessed, but comes and sits alongside us and slowly helps us piece back together the ripped fabric and broken threads of our life.
When you love, you open yourself up to the great heights of joy, but also the depths of heartbreak.
When you love you are vulnerable…. you carve out this space in your heart for other people to come and reside. That can be scary and wonderful all in the same breath. We are not always the best caretakers of love and often forget the fragility and vulnerability that walk hand in hand with it. Our souls become enmeshed with others….we share our highs and our lows, our celebrations and our secrets, and it sometimes seems that in that we bestow people with the power to hurt us or heal us by their love. That is the nature of love.
So if it’s harder to love why do we do it?
Because we were made by a Creator that loves deeply. He wired us to imitate that love…to be the things that He is. We were made to love, to have faith, to forgive, to hope. We weren’t made to keep our hearts in glass boxes and spend the remainder of our days on this earth attempting to avoid the dismay of loss that accompanies a fractured spirit. When you love something rare and beautiful is created. To truly love makes you more honest, more loving, it brings out the best version of yourself. When you love, you stitch together stories of beauty, loss, joy, tragedy, faith, and perseverance that create this beautiful display of a life cultivated by a devotion to others. This is a reflection of Christ’s devotion to us.
Our love is not always reciprocated. Even when it is, it doesn’t come in the form that we expected. Throwing off what hinders us to love freely is unnatural and frightening. Yet in those moments when we don’t let fear have a place at the table and we love beyond what our flesh tells us is safe, then we will find true reward. We will no longer be thinking about what is at stake, but what we have to gain. In the end….whether we accrue a strength birthed from the breaking of a spiritual bone during a season of heartbreak or intimacy and depth that overflows from a life-giving source of love …we are moving forward. Taking the bitter with the sweet and accepting the change that both bring.