C.S. Lewis on Love

For those of you who equate hiding one’s heart with guarding one’s heart, a warning from C.S. Lewis:

Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as “Careful! This might lead you to suffering.”

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…

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.)

To me, it confirms that to be in this struggle against SSA and for Christ’s plan for our lives, it’s going to hurt.  No two ways about it.  Can’t avoid it.  Otherwise the heart closes off and…changes.  That is the beginning of true hell on earth.  The sacrifice, the pain, the hurt, the betrayal, all those things that seem to be inevitable parts of forming deep and abiding relationships with other sinners, there is joy in that pain and in that struggle.  Those horrors keep you alive and feeling.

Refreshed me today.  Hope it does you.

~ by WriterRand on November 1, 2008.

2 Responses to “C.S. Lewis on Love”

  1. Interesting because when I read that piece as a gay man I read it as a challenge to love someone despite what others might tell me is wrong. I suppose we all read and filter information through our own experiences.

  2. Lee, I think even guys who struggle with their homosexuality and who are more-or-less conservative Christians (like myself) read it the same way. For me, it’s a challenge to love my gay friends even though I disagree with them, and even though many Christians would have me not spend any time with them at all. It’s a challenge to build deep, personal relationships with other men (gay or not), and be unashamed about getting close to someone just because some prude thinks I need to get married ASAP. No matter if you’re gay or formerly gay, you’re always going to have people telling you how to live and love, and this is a challenge to not let them define you.

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