Can you remember a time your heart was broken open so wide that there could be one humanity out of the two? (Ephesians 2:15) February, the month of love, is also the beginning of our Lenten journey. It is a time when we are aware of our own brokenness in a deeper way, the brokenness in our world, and the promise of wholeness in Jesus’ complete sacrifice on the Cross.
I remember the first time my heart was broken and it wasn’t a high school crush. I was a little girl. It was a photo journal of Mother Teresa’s mission in India. I saw dark and gruesome pictures of grown men reduced to skeletons, missing limbs and plagued with open sores. But the eyes of my heart had been opened (Ephesians 1:18). Unlike later high school crushes, this encounter stirred in me a deep longing to go out into the world and look suffering in the eyes.
An often used expression about love is that it is blind. Is there is a correlation between seeing with the eyes of our heart and this romantic notion which often conjures up countless Hollywood stories of two-wrongs- make-a-right. St Paul tells us that, “If I do not have love, I am nothing” (1Cor13:2 ) His statement is so simple and yet it is this call to give and receive boundary-less love that most deeply challenges us.
Love hurts is another popular assertion that also holds some truth especially when experienced through the lens of our faith. Usually when we think of this phrase it is in relation to a personal rejection, but rarely do we think of the pain as our own inability to open our hearts especially to the suffering in the world. As missionaries and as followers of Christ, our experience of the pain of love lost should not be measured by what we have not received but rather by what we have failed to give for we are called be God’s love in the face of poverty, hopelessness, violence, abandonment and rejection. We are called go out into the world and give love to all we encounter.
Loving blindly is letting our hearts be open to give and receive love beyond the boundaries of race, class, culture, and religion. In a country that reflects every language, culture and religion of the world we need only walk out our front door to have an encounter that takes out of our comfort zone. The pain comes when we feel our limitations, our heart closing in on itself, and choosing to stay comfortable in who and how we love.
In our shared brokenness we find wholeness. In this season of Lent, I invite you to reflect on the Love in your life.