Loving anyone is a risky thing. In fact, we could argue that â€œlove is never seized apart from courage.â€ When we make ourselves vulnerable, we could get hurt. Lewis knew about the pain of loving. He lost his mother when he was about nine years old. He lost a close friend that he fought with in World War Iâ€”Paddy Moore. He lost his father and last but by no means least, his beloved wife, Joy, to cancer. Lewis nevertheless says about love:
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 casketâ€”safe, dark, motionless, airlessâ€”it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
I encourage you not only to give C.S. Lewis on LoveÂ a slow, reflective read, but also to share it with others in word and deed. Furthermore, I invite you to join me in prayer for healing in places, communities, and individuals (which can include yourself) whose hearts have been broken by a lack of love for God, neighbor, vocation, and/or creation. Today let us resolve not to lose sight of and expressÂ Loving God in the Flesh in the Real WorldÂ with head, heart, and hands.
AND not forget that the source of this love isÂ God. The One who not only is present with us (individually, as the Body of Christ, as the creation undergoing renewal) each step of the way, but also truly embodies that loving anyone in the creation is aÂ risky thing. In order to give this some additional reflection, take a moment to re-read the above quote through the lens of the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. Note: Stay tuned to explore more deeply as justice will be a theme forÂ Scholar’s CompassÂ through the season of Lent.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come!
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ â€“ to the glory and praise of God. â€” Philippians 1:9-11