This was my journal entry on July 15, 2010.
“… This is my commandment that you love one another that your joy may be full…”
That old Sunday school song echoed in my head as I did my devotional for the day. The passage was on John 15:1-17 and oh how God had spoken.
I was once at a point in life where I figured I was way past caring for anyone. Having been hurt, abandoned and abused by those whom I let in – I just decided, it wasn’t worth it.
Self-protection – as Isaiah puts it – is like a self-made flame in the darkness. Living on my own capabilities (self-sufficiency) made me feel ‘safe’ and ‘untouchable’. But that ‘safety’ was a two-edged sword… I also became ‘inaccessible’ and isolated.
Loneliness gnaws at one’s soul slowly… penetrating through skin, through flesh and finally settles in one’s own bones. Long after the scars have healed, long after the bruises fade – it haunts. If you’re lucky, you learn how to drown it out — making sure you’re ‘pre-occupied’ and ‘moving’. But sooner or later, you find yourself in the folds of its embrace.
Time and time again, even though I knew the consequence of keeping away from people – I decided to wade in the shallows – relationship-wise. No one really knew me – so I was never really hurt but I also often wondered whether I was ever truly loved.
At first you decide to protect yourself from others… Then, you begin to do it unconsciously and finally, you find that you have forgotten how to let anyone in. You have dug your own grave. Written your own epitaph. You can’t help anyone, you can’t even help yourself.
So, instead of acting on your convictions, you abstain; instead of speaking up, you keep quiet.
But I know now… that that is not love.
I’m still scared of people. Afraid that if they see my weaknesses and my failures (who I really am) – they won’t like me as much. I’m afraid of being abandoned, worse, being replaced… because if I don’t ‘do’ – will I have a place to stay?
I now recognize this way of thinking as merely the echoes of the world’s desperate plea.
Jesus had commanded his followers to love and to commune with each other and with Him. To love fiercely and without condition, to love those who are different, to love those who hate us – to love the unlovable. And more importantly to demonstrate that love – to let that love speak for itself. For such is the grace given upon all of us.
“… This is how I know what love is. Though I’m a sinner. Christ laid down his life for me…” – The Vine Band
I feel as if God has given me the conviction and the strength to do what I had never accomplished before.
To dare to love – others… and, little by little, my own self.