Love’s complicated. We don’t all speak the same love language. By the end of this day some will be convinced that he or she isn’t loved because of words said or left unspoken, gifts given or not. We’ve all got notions of what love should look or sound like. Gary Chapman wrote, The 5 Love Languages. Jud and I read it a long time ago and flunked. For the rest of our marriage we learned another language or two. Good to stay teachable.
Two of my favorite authors have something to say about LOVE.
C.S. Lewis writes,”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.” from The Four Loves
No one knows this better than God. The first Bible verse I learned as a child was John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”(from the New Living Translation) God’s Valentine.
Frederich Buechner challenges me with these words from The Magnificent Defeat, “The love of equals is a human thing–of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing— the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion and it touches the heart of the world.The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing–to love those who succeed when we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man–the world is always bewildered by its saints.And then there is the love for the enemy–love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain–the tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”
During this season of Lent, it’s a good practice to consider ways God loves, then risk and reach beyond our safe circle with the healing power of God’s Love, no matter the results.
“To love is to be vulnerable”…never safe.
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