“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.” CS Lewis – The Four Loves
It’s Sunday night and the house is dark and quiet. A cool breeze is coming in from the open window and watchful cats curl up on the window ledge, nocturnal beasts carefully observing an outside that they will never reach.
It has been a full weekend. Reconnecting with friends through visiting, playing games, and a long walk by the rocky coast. A Pentecost service, remembering that day so many years ago when the Holy Spirit, like tongues of fire, came down. My dad’s 88th birthday and me absent from this momentous occasion, the result of a life lived far away from those you love. A manuscript delivered in the mail on Friday evening, opened today, and reviewed with fear and trembling. And a long talk with two of our children, both home from college for the summer.
It all crashed down on me well after I was supposed to be in bed and asleep. Despite the full, glorious weekend, I’m caught in a vice-like grip of worry for those I love. Crashing against a tired body was a tired heart, a heart lost in tears that quickly dried in the cool breeze, only to come again with more force.
And it came to me again, like it has thousands of times in the past, to love is to hurt. To love my kids is to hurt for their pain, to rage at some of their choices, to delight in their successes, to weep at their tragedies. To love my adopted country means to weep that a group of terrorists brutally attacked the airport, killing and wounding many. To love means to get tired from caring, to feel weary from listening. To love is to hurt.
But I have known in the past what an ice-cold heart feels like, the numb apathy that accompanies it, and I will pick this pain any time, every time. Because this pain is proof that my heart is alive, alive with God-given feeling. This pain is proof that my life is full, full of people and places that I love. This pain is proof that I desperately need God, God to reach through pain and worry with a promise of redemption. Because to love is to hurt.
Stacy is away from Dubai this week, visiting Houston. She says this about today’s muffins: “I’ve made cinnamon and brown sugar muffins for tomorrow’s post, using buttermilk and melted butter, so they are extra moist and delicious. Bonus: The house smells terrific!” Head here for the recipe for Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttermilk Muffins. To love is to make people muffins!
Picture Credit – http://pixabay.com/en/mourning-woman-sculpture-360500/