Keeping Our Hearts Safe
This is a favorite quote of mine from CS Lewis, one of my favorite authors. Most people know him as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, but he was a leading Christian intellectual of the 20th century with a number of excellent books on and in defense of the Christian faith. I am a very big fan of The Four Loves and the Great Divorce, although anything he has written is worth your time. He also has a wonderful adult novel based on the myth of Psyche called ‘Til We Have Faces, that I return to again and again.
The reason I love this quote is that it is a reminder that life and living will sometimes involve pain, but the price of not experiencing that pain is too high to pay. Besides, I tried it for a number of years and it really didn’t work out. This quote provides me with the necessary courage to risk that hurt in order to live more fully. I hope it can help you as well.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to risk of tragedy, is damnation.
The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”