“To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly 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.”
If you have a gmail account, you will recognize this quote from my profile. While I adore a number of quotes from C.S. Lewis, I have found this particular one of utmost relevance in its applicability to my life and those around me. There is such a world of truth in those few statements, and I find it almost insulting to add anything to the sentiments expressed...
However, I did say "almost," so I shall share just a few thoughts. If you really think and meditate on those words, you would quickly see that all the suffering and pain (at least emotional) would completely subside in our lives if we "gave our hearts to no one." If we locked up our hearts (resulting in an inability to love), we would not care what others thought. We would not suffer when others felt pain, sickness or disease. We would not mourn the loss of life...or the loss of salvation, for that matter. Break-ups, betrayals, back-stabbing, gossip - it would all cease to affect us. What a blissful, zen-like life we could artificially fabricate, right? Wrong! So wrong!
If God is love (I John 4:8, I John 4:16)) and we ceased to love and locked up our hearts, not only would we be denying ourselves the greatest joy in life, but we would be denying God. He (love/agape) is our reason for existence. Our purpose on this earth is to seek after Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Deut. 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30). Again, if God is love, it is our primary endeavor to seek love, above all else (John 14:21)! Yes, to love is to be vulnerable. Yes, if you love someone, you will get hurt. I can say that with 100% assurance and with all the confidence in the world.
However, if God is love and Satan is the opposite of Christ, then a life without love is a life pleasing to Satan (I John 3:10). It is a life lived in darkness, isolated from the community we are called to live in, according to the text in the scriptures. It is a life shrouded in depression, void of emotions. There is no life and there can be no joy.
To love means to open yourself up to pain, but it is in the pain that God can reveal His perfect love and His plan for redemption.