“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

I love C.S. Lewis. Somehow he was one of the few writers that could take hard truth and make it real and meaningful to me…

I came across this quote in a friend’s blog last week*, and though I’m sure I’d read it before, it stood out to me. It is particularly meaningful and comforting these days. It is a lesson I have been learning for some time… I suppose one that God has been slowly and steadily working into me, whether I like it or not…

That love and pain are inextricably linked. That they don’t just coexist, but that — in this world at least — they can’t be separated. They are a part of a greater, mysterious, strange and beautiful dance, and the tension between the two is the heart and soul of where life itself is.

Sometimes it’s tempting to shut the doors, draw the curtains, and try our best to fend off the darkness with our frail, artificial lights. But that’s not the way we were created to live.

We were made from love. We were made to love. And, perhaps, to some extent, we were made for pain as well.

But thank God, it’s worth it in the end.

Another writer I admire put this truth in a slightly different, briefer, but no less truthful way:

“To live and to love
Will always be dangerous
But it’s better than playing it safe..” ~ Kendall Payne, “Ups and Downs”

*Thanks, Ray. It’s that good… I’m stealing and re-posting it. That’s what blogging’s about.