I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love and loss and pain and joy and everything in between, and to tell you the truth, it’s been pretty tough. There have been many times recently where I’ve wanted to go away and hide, to give up on certain things and to take refuge where I can’t be hurt again. I’m sure many of you have been in that same place.
But then when I start to think about what that would look like in my life, I come up against a cold, hard (yet also beautiful) truth: You can keep your heart from breaking, but the moment it becomes unbreakable is the moment it becomes . . . you know what? I’ll just let C.S. Lewis say it. He’s better at this than I am:
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.
It’s so true, isn’t it? Real love never comes without great risk. And the fact is that sometimes we lose, and lose big. I won’t patronize any of us with rah-rah motivational statements about picking up the pieces and moving on to better things, because that’s not what it feels like. It feels more like walking through a long, dark valley, unsure of whether the road ahead will ever climb up and out into the sunlight again . . . but choosing to trudge forward anyway. At least that’s what it’s like for me. Maybe some of you feel the same way, and if that’s the case, the only encouraging thing that I know for sure is that there is always hope. And that is enough. It’s not much, but it’s enough to keep going, and thank God for that.
So today I wish you love – the love you desire, the love you deserve, love in all its forms, whatever it looks like for you, I hope you have it in your life. And if you don’t right now, that’s okay too. Maybe our paths will cross, and we’ll walk together for a while.
p.s. There’s this guy in Australia who does fantastic comic illustrations of popular quotes. I’m including his interpretation of the C.S. Lewis quote above, and you can check out the rest of his stuff here.