I used to wonder why You created me the way I was… so eager and passionate, so rich in emotion and enthusiastic in love. I used to wonder why whenever I got hurt. Because I would think that perhaps if I didn’t love the way I did, without reservations, I wouldn’t be hurt so easily or so deeply. But as far back as I can remember, that was how I always loved – my family or my friends – my heart in my hands, with nothing held back. And I would complain to You for having given me so much heart with so little self-preservation.
But… with each time my heart gets broken, and each time I seek Your face in the darkness, I begin to hear Your gentle explanation a little better. You tell me that You have given me such a foolish heart so that I can begin to understand how YOU love. For You love most foolishly, choosing to offer Your heart over and over again to a people who reject and betray you even when some of them claim to love You. You pour Your heart and life out for us because that is what love is… and true love, as Yours is, is without expectations, without regret, without conditions, without blame. You tell us that love is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. (1 Cor 13:7)
It is a grace, not a curse, then, to have a heart that cannot help but want to love without reservations. The reason it hurts, and the reason I struggle, is not because I love without reservations, but because I have not emptied myself. Emotional pain, after all, is a self-indication that my focus is on myself rather than You or the one I love.
When my heart gets bruised, You let me cry as much as I want in Your arms. You embrace me silently, comfortingly, without a hint of blame even as Your own heart bears the scars I have inflicted time and again. In the warmth of Your embrace I remember… and I receive the grace to shift my gaze from my broken heart to Yours. And in the light of Your love and forgiveness for my sins, the sins of others against me pale into insignificance.
I am a slow learner, Lord. Time and again I fall, bleeding. But with each fall I remember faster, and with each experience, I gain a little more strength and courage to love. Not as I do, but as You meant for me to love. Please help me to be more like You – to love when there is no reward… to love, even when it means pain.
I don’t have it in me to do this, but You never meant for me to do it alone. So please don’t let go of my hand! Because when it gets dark and I can’t see where the night ends, the only thing I know I must do is love. Love until it hurts. Love until all sorrows have expanded my heart and it can absorb a turbulent ocean and be at peace with it.
I look to You, my most beautiful Saviour! I want to see only Your face.
Don’t forsake me… I know You never will. For even if all the world comes tumbling down, and I lose everything I have, I will have all that I need. I have You.
Through the blur of my tears I see Your face, and not even my swollen eyes can mask the tenderness of Your gaze.
“Child, I am always with you.”
That is all I need to know.