To Love at all is to be Vulnerable

8/05/2015 01:45:00 AM sendtheroths 2 Comments

I used to think that there are favorites—one's inner-circle. People you let “in” with careful concern. They are few. They are family. They are constant.

Real love doesn’t work that way.

“Who can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without taking the risk of experiencing similar pains in his own heart and even losing his precious peace of mind? In short: “Who can take away suffering without entering it?” (Nouwen, The Wounded Healer)

Real love doesn't stand just far enough away to stretch its hand down to its constituents. It flows horizontally and not vertically. And when one pours his or her heart into people; when one sacrifices for people and when one's time is spent on a certain group of people, it is almost impossible not to be vulnerable to them.

Attachments form.
Memories are made (good, bad and ugly).
You become a part of each other. The most unlikely relationships can be produced out of just living together with people.

This means that hiding myself behind a computer screen, a degree, a face full of makeup, a podium, a passport or an office desk will never replace transformative power of vulnerability over my life and the lives of others.

The richness of life is an outflow of giving everything that we have to give for the time that we have with the people who God gives us. The obstacle is not to fear what costs that come with this kind of giving.

In my short-lived life, I’ve left so many people behind and likewise, so many people have left me. Faces. Faces. So many faces.

Faces of people that I thought I would change the world with.
Faces of people who I thought would change the world.
Faces that melted my heart. Faces that gave me courage and bravery to go on.

And although I've prayed for those faces; I've even wrote songs for those faces; the faces come and they go.

The greatest miracle of God is not that he loved me in my sin. It is that he loves us all and continues to love even when we come and go. Always loving with the same passion, the same fervor—for generations, though there is nothing new under the sun that we as humans can do. He still chooses to make himself vulnerable to the freewill if humanity.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the people I’ve left behind over the years and also the people who have left me. I loved those people. I really loved those people. And sometimes when I go to bed (or when I wake up in the morning), I can just lay my head in my pillow and cry. I cry because I miss them. I cry because they walked away with pieces of my heart. I cry because I wonder if nothing will be left after X amount years in the ministry. I cry because I thought that life wouldn’t look this way. Why can’t families stay together? Why do the systems of this world and the hearts of people force people to choose sides? Did I know that living such a transient life would require my heart being poured out and carried away over and over again?

It will only be in the day when the streets are paved with gold and when the lion lays with the lamb that we'll finally be in one place, one 'house' working together. Until that day, I'll have to embrace the invisible-- believing that we are together even though we are far from each other.

“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.” (Lewis, The Four Loves)

I'm convinced that when we are willing to live with the costs of interdependence and vulnerability, it brings a little more of His kingdom down to this earth.


  1. "The richness of life is an outflow of giving everything that we have to give for the time that we have with the people who God gives us. The obstacle is not to fear what costs that come with this kind of giving." -- I've lived by that conviction for a long time. But currently am struggling with (though it sounds so crass) how to know if a person "is worth it". If you spend many hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars, sharing your home and always trying to humbly lift and respect... But the person decides to keep going the wrong way, and despises you in return...and unwilling or unable to either forgive or apologize. It is hard to want to take in yet another, not knowing what their heart will later reveal. Tears.