“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.”
Have you been deeply wounded? So wounded that you refuse to be that vulnerable again? Are just done with putting your heart and life on the line? Let me tell you, that you are not alone. I have felt the very same.
As a Christian, I am one to compare physical trials to spiritual warfare, because honestly, we truly are in constant warfare. So, I look to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible isolation as an opportunity to reflect on our desperate spiritual need for community. Community is hard, messy and sacrificial. In some cases, our hearts can be literally broken because of being used by others and deep hurt. And when this happens, and it most likely will, our sinful hearts have the potential to harden without the truth of God’s Word. Once hardened, we rarely want people around us and we give up loving them because we receive nothing in return.
However, there was someone who became vulnerable for me and you, who was rejected by all those He was closest to (including His own Father), died with a broken heart, suffered a miserable death on the cross…all for you…all for me. Jesus forgave us of our sin by loving us until He was killed for it. So, should we only love those who love us in return? Jesus certainly turned the tables on this concept by demonstrating His love for the world through His sacrifice on the cross. Through Jesus’ death, He gave us hope. Hope which draws us to ask Him forgiveness for ALL our sin. If He has done this for us, can we not humble ourselves to get off our island and forgive those who have hurt us?
What lies are keeping you from loving your neighbor or family member? What lies are keeping you from being vulnerable enough to get help for the hurt that you have? What lies are keeping you from forgiving like Christ forgave?
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4: 25-32, ESV
God did not intend for us to be alone, but we are facing times where we may have to take drastic measures in order to keep each other healthy and safe. During this time of being physically distant from one another, don’t spiritually distance yourself from others or put yourself on a spiritual island with an unbreakable heart. There is a solution to our heart’s need and it’s solution is Jesus, Himself.