I love the song Breakable by Ingrid Michaelson, the chorus goes "And we are so fragile, And our cracking bones make noise, And we are just, Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys". It is a great reminder that we are all so fragile, sure some people might hide it better than others, but each one of us is a breakable boy or girl.
I don't love this because it makes me feel vulnerable, trust me I don't need a song to do that, I love that it reminds me to be more gentle with everybody, the people I love and the people I don't. I can quickly and effectively convince myself why I shouldn't extend the hand of friendship or just offer a gesture of kindness to some people, the fear of rejection or embarrassing myself is often the prime deterrent, protecting my pride, but this really isn't a good enough excuse. Laziness is another excuse, some people are hard work and exhausting so withdrawing from them is an easy option. Other people make me feel more vulnerable and fragile than I am comfortable with so avoiding them in the name of self-preservation makes sense.
To remind myself that each one of us is fragile, we are just breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys might help me overcome these barriers. Tonight with all these thoughts whirling around in my head, I was helping to put pyjamas on our 6 year old daughter when she said "Mum we are given life so we can love people" and then kissed me. Instantly tears welled in my eyes, and I hugged her and said "Yes, that is right".
We have been created to love people. It can feel like loving people makes us fragile. It is hard to love, to see past people's faults, to remain loyal in the times of trials, to stop judging for 5 minutes and just love. Loving without any expectations of how people should love you back.
I am blessed to know a couple of people who love unconditionally and you can not help but love and admire these people. Sure they would not be described as 'high-achievers' by earthly standards, and people don't always treat them right, but I admire them and aspire to love like they do. There are also people in my life who I love more than they love me, and it hurts. They aren't bad people but I can't help but get angry and resentful, it isn't even their fault, they didn't make me love them I just do. There are others still who probably love me more than I love them back, it saddens me if I hurt or disappoint them.
There is no doubt that lately I have been a little frugal with my love and I am feeling disengaged and a little more vulnerable than usual. I need to lift the lid on my love, stop holding back in the name of self-preservation, it is stupid and unproductive, it is arrogant and resentful and it makes me feel unpleasant. Today at work a super sweet work colleague gave me a little book entitled "His Princess: Love Letters From Your King" and I am sure this is a little source of encouragement God has placed on my path to help me re-connect to Him and to love.
People can think it childish and whimsical to talk too much about love, it is a thing for Mums and small children, little girls and fairytales but the reality is it is everything. In 1 Corinthians 13:7 love is described this way "She bears up under everything; believes the best in all; there is no limit to her hope, and never will she fall", isn't that so beautiful.
I have such a clear image of when I have passed away, my lifeless body is in a coffin, in a fairly empty, light filled room and all I can think, feel, see, comprehend is a voice saying "The only thing that matters is who you loved and how you loved them". You cannot love properly if you just love the people you want to, or the people you like, or the people who are of some benefit to you. You can only learn to love, truly love, when you practise on everybody, including yourself!
What do you think? Are you good at loving and being loved or do you think you have some work to do?