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 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.
I’ll have to admit that, for a while, this quote by C. S. Lewis perfectly described the state of my heart. Of course, I do love. But would rather stay at arm’s distance.
Some time ago, as I stood with a friend in her kitchen, we had a conversation that changed my life. A friendship barely six months old had become a relationship safe enough for me to share some of my deepest heartaches.
We’ve all trusted people with our treasures which they then disregarded. I never thought I would share these stories again. I had sworn I wouldn’t, but I did and, unbelievably, it helped me heal! In that moment, life gave me an amazing lesson on the incredible power of just one.
Over the next few days, I kept going back to that moment with my friend. I realised that the pain that several people pile up can be swept away by the love of just one. It only takes one.
Since then, I’ve noticed that I’m a little braver. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear (1 John 4:18). The fear that had made itself at home in my heart had been confronted by love. That love has resuscitated my desire to trust again.
I find myself trying again. And, that’s exactly what love does to you. What I had sworn was impossible now seems probable. If I could wrap up a handful of love, tie a bow around it and deliver it across the world, I would. It’s more potent than anything else this world offers. And it only takes one. You can be that one. 1 Peter 4:8:
Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.