When we feel we have been hurt by people, it is easy to choose to guard our hearts from giving out love—from taking the risk that comes with loving imperfect people. In contrast to that response to pain, while studying for a current series in I Corinthians 13, I came across a great quote from C. S. Lewis in The Four Loves:


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 up 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 of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves [Orlando: Harcourt, 1988]: 120; orig. 1960).