“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.”
― C.S. Lewis The Four Loves
Today Love has me feeling especially tender.
Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a friend. She lived deep and wide; there are huge gaps left everywhere. And while there was beautiful focus on the impact of her life, my heart still aches.
And today is Valentine’s day. More love. More potential for my heart to be “wrung and possibly broken.” Back to back vulnerabilities. This is why I am tender. I am also delighted by my companion for the day. We’ve been companions for over three decades. We know how to be in the same space together. We like the same wine. We watch birds together. He slows for me; for him, I will walk away from a book.
It’s a tender intimacy to shift in and out of each other’s world. To be together and simultaneously get out of the way. To call forth the best and pour grace over the worst.
At the same time, I know that today, like Mother’s Day and Christmas and other days with specific focus and gatherings, is a day that holds heartache for some. So I celebrate carefully; my desire is to hold space for the heartbroken on days full of celebration and connection.
Intimacy is vulnerable.
Intimacy is powerful.
I refuse to pull back from the power of intimacy because of vulnerability.
Bring it on.
Journal entry from Ash Wednesday 10 February
Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3
If I have a Spirit Animal in Christian scripture, it’s Mary of Bethany. Hers was the name I was given in the mountains in my 40th year…the year I allowed myself to be seen again. She is the call to Love unapologetically. To sit with Jesus with no shame for the things undone. Even as I sit here this morning, the Christmas tree is in the corner. Oh, my God, it’s February. I feel the pull of Task and Shoulds. I struggle to put down the phone and just BE. And yet, that is the invitation. To BE in His presence, with Him unapologetically, in Love and at his feet.
“And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume…”
There was no concealing or diminishing. It was Love and Adoration. The fragrance was everywhere.
This is a woman who took a vial of oil and poured it on the feet of the person she loved. She was supposed to be helping in the kitchen, instead she followed her heart. She broke the budget and poured out oil in the amount of a year’s wages.
Can we stop for a minute?
Do I love anyone a year’s wages worth?
Love pours out all the oil.
Love risks reprimand.
Love is unapologetic.
Love is vulnerable.
Love is worth celebrating.
I hope today that you feel vulnerable and I hope it means that you love big.
All the hearts. Be in your life,