For most of my life, I’ve avoided any deep commitments. Judging by how I avoided even going to friends’ houses, it’s evident that I’ve avoided even shallow commitments. If you were in trouble, I’d sure throw cash at you, but having a heart-to-heart…well, I just forgot that I left my house on fire, so I’ve got to go.
Jesus, when talking about people who were considered scum, said to those who might follow him,
In the 6th chapter of Micah, there’s a discussion on giving sacrifices—and not just little ones, but rather offerings that only the richest of the rich could afford. God said of these sacrifices,
If you give me a list of actions to follow, I can nail those puppies. It requires no engagement of my heart or soul; I just spool up my mind and let it carry out the physical requirements. God knows about the dirty secret of cretins like me; that’s why he said to “love” kindness. To have “compassion.”
Both of those things require more than exterior formalities. They require that one form actual, emotional connections. Any emotional connection requires exercise of one’s heart and soul. It is these connections that, when damaged, can cause us the most pain. Because I feel agony in hurting others and being hurt, it is much easier for me to avoid letting my heart grow attached to any living thing. It’s an easy, grey life, wandering in a fog with no vibrance, where I’m safe from storms, but never get to see the fury of the sunset or the flowers greeting the dawn, dripping color in their beautiful regalia.
God desires that we love and be vulnerable. Not weak, because it takes more strength to be open than to be in hiding.
“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
With love, always,