In Others’ Words: To Love at All


vulnerable love C.S. Lewis 2014 EDITED

Loving someone is a choice.

Vulnerability is a choice.

If you choose to love someone, then you choose to be vulnerable with them.

You open your heart to all the beautiful possibilities:

closeness, acceptance, understanding …

and to all dangerous woundings:

rejection, betrayal, loss.

There have been moments when I’ve asked myself if the cost of loving someone — the price of vulnerability — has been too high. Would it have been wiser, smarter, less painful, if I’d loved less? Maybe I should have chosen to protect my heart, rather than going all in.

But sometimes, to love “at all” is to love all the way — no holding back. 

A friend once told me that you do not change what you believe based on other people’s choices. You do not change how you live your life based on how other people respond to you — or if they reject you and what you believe. (I call that friend “Wise Guy” for good reason.)

And loving someone always, always opens the door — opens my heart to the blessing of being embraced physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Of being safe.

Loving someone may cost me. Fine. I am choosing to love others, accepting the very reality that I may be accepted … or rejected. Understood … or rejected.

In Your Words: How do you handle the danger of being vulnerable by choosing to love others? 

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  1. July 14, 2014, 12:59 am   /  Reply

    “I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more.” – Richard Lovelace

    Love, as an independent entity, is a mirage. Reach for it, and your hand will only grasp emptiness, bound as it is to the frailty of the human heart, to the inconstancy of the soul.

    But reach for honor, duty, and fortitude, and you’ll find that love is carried along with them – real Love, the kind that uplifts, and that never threatens with rejection or betrayal.

    That’s because love is fundamentally analogous to beam of pure light between an individual and God. Another person may pass into the beam, and be caught up in it – and may stay, or go. But their presence doesn’t alter the truth of the setting, nor diminish – or magnify – its power.

    There’s no need for vulnerability; we’re already safe, and we can offer love from a well that’s constantly replenished. We need never be “All Out Of Love”, as the song says – unless we want to play the role of a romantic martyr.

    Took me a long time to learn that. If it’s wisdom and not just theoretical gas, call it wisdom that arose from the consequences of a gunfight. Bullets define some stuff pretty well.

    • July 14, 2014, 7:50 pm   /  Reply

      A very interesting perspective, friend, which is what you usually provide me and the others in our conversations.
      And I do think it’s true that love is intertwined with other things: honor, duty, fortitude, forgiveness, selflessness …

  2. July 14, 2014, 7:25 am   /  Reply

    No wonder there’s so much happy buzz about your books, past, present, and future. You have the gift of saying so much in few words, beautifully. With impact. Yes, loving brings the greatest strength and freedom, and, because of His help, is when we are most in His image.

    • July 14, 2014, 7:51 pm   /  Reply

      Another truth to ponder: loving is when we are most in His image.

  3. July 14, 2014, 9:25 am   /  Reply

    Ditto what Dee said. I think we need to love as children do–arms wide open no holds barred.
    But too often we don’t.. We keep something back. And are poorer for it.

    • July 14, 2014, 7:52 pm   /  Reply

      Children love without reservation, and forgive in the same way.
      I have learned more from the love of my children — and their forgiveness — than from anyone else’s example.

  4. July 14, 2014, 2:36 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, beautifully worded. Being vulnerable and loving deeply is hard. No one likes to be hurt. Opening up that much to people takes guts and courage that I sometimes don’t think I have. But I always end up loving deeply and trying to be more vulnerable because I know that’s who God created me to be. Besides, when that rejection comes (because it does at times), God’s always there to pick up the pieces of my heart and stitch them back together, adding in a new patch of wisdom or patience or whatever other thing I learned from the experience.


    • July 14, 2014, 7:53 pm   /  Reply

      Beautiful word picture, Andrea: how God adds a new “patch” of wisdom or patience to our hearts.

      • July 16, 2014, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

        Thought you might like that. I grinned when I wrote it.

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