I was in a reading plan today and I saw this one that asked, “Do you agree with the statement “Deep love allows for deep suffering”? Explain.”
So, I decided to explain.
I completely agree with this statement and have felt it some recently. Basically, the idea is that if you open your heart to love someone truly (whether it is romantic or not) that you can feel just as intense pain because you loved so immensely.
This is absolutely and undeniably true.
But here’s the question: Is it worth it? Is that much pain worth opening your heart at all? Wouldn’t it be better to just crawl in a hole and scowl at everyone that passed by?
C.S. Lewis once wrote:
There is no safe investment. 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 Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
(From The Four Loves, as found in The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis, 278-279.)
Here lies our conundrum. Either we put our heart and our life out there on our sleeve for others to either hold carefully, or to crush and maim, or, we hide it away “safe” and “secure”, but hard and untouchable. You will never be hurt, but you will also never feel.
Personally, I have chosen, after going through something that is still ripping my heart apart every time I think about it, that it is still worth it. For me, I have a Lord whose heart breaks along with mine and who has felt more pain and suffering than anyone else. I have chosen to give him my heart and accept his love in return. Now, it is his love that pours out from me, it is his heart I give to others, and it is him who protects me when others crush it. So, yes, I am still hurt and that has not left me, in fact, I feel it even more now because of the immense love God has given me and runs through me. I yearn to feel for others as God does for them, and that involves pain and sadness when they are lost.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)
We love because he first loved us…And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:19, 21)
But there is always a brighter side because I have a hope and confidence in His plans.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:96)
God is amazing. I could not be doing all that I am without him. I would be a pathetic heap on the floor. I am not joking and I am not exaggerating. He makes me strong when it isn’t humanly possible to be so.
“My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in [your] weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And Lord knows I’m weak.
I guess the main idea(s) of this post is(are) that to open your heart more, you also open your wounds more, but it is worth it. Suffering and pain continue to exist in this world no matter what, but I have hope in my future because of God and without him, I would be a weak shell of a human.
I thank God everyday for his power and strength, and I am sorry for those days when I don’t trust that he’s there to carry me and yet he comes anyway.
Maybe someone will read this, and maybe everyone stopped forever ago because this is so long, but for anyone that made it down here, sorry for the rambling, but maybe it meant something to you. That would be pretty cool. 🙂 Good luck and I pray that you would not be complete until you are complete in Him. God bless.
(If you have any questions or comments, feel free!)