"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
C.S. Lewis wrote this in his book The Four Loves. I believe every word of it. I have felt every word of it. It is a scary thing to reach out and love the unlovable around you. It's a scary leap to leave safety for the first time and take your heart out of it's carefully kept casket. You expect to be rewarded by your risk, and so you take your heart out and throw it to the world, hoping and waiting for cheers, reciprocated tenderness, affection, or even kind words. Shockingly your heart comes back, hanging its head, dragging its feet, covered in blisters, worn out by the heat it received from the ones it was trying so desperately to love.
Jesus said to His disciples, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19) The world is who Jesus commanded us to love. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek.
Battered and bruised. Is it even worth it? I find myself asking this lately, is my broken heart worth it? I have loved and felt pain because I loved and gave myself to people around me, and yet I don't think I've even tapped into the deep, deep wells of what love really is. All I did was raise the stakes in my poker game, because I put a part of me out there. Instead of playing for cheap coins, I "bet" my heart, so to speak. I gave the world something that is vital to my life, integral to my existence.
My head says it's worth it. My bleeding heart still fights the urge of self-preservation. John 16:33 says, "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Christ showed us how to love. He died on the cross. He experienced God turning His back on His only son. He bore the weight of all our sins. His followers denied Him, mocked Him, spit on Him. And He loved.
I hope my heart is never whole. That may seem contrary to popular belief, but God's heart isn't whole, at least not in the sense that we think it is...He gives it to all of us, every minute of the day. His heart is complete. His heart is full. His heart has the Spirit. His heart is perfect. But He gave us His heart and His love when He gave us His son. And we are to live like Him.
I pray that I would not be afraid to unlock the casket of my heart and let it bring life and love to those around me. I hope that I learn to love enough that my heart wears out and blisters and tears until the pain is so great only my Savior can stitch it back up. My heart will be whole when it knows the pain of being given away, has felt the needle of repair, and then is called back into duty, even though the wounds haven't completely healed.
The Beatles didn't see the wisdom in their song, but I see it and have felt it. I fear more that I may lock my heart up, never to see the sun/Son again.
So, broken hearts, "Here comes the Son, it's all right...."