“Loving people can wear you down.”
We went to church on Sunday. That statement was one of the things the pastor included in his sermon. It reached into me and touched something at the very center of my core. This is something I know. Loving people can wear you down.
I have a big heart. I love hard. I am full of compassion, or at least I try to be. I fall head first into caring about and for other people. Sometimes, loving people wears me down.
When this happens, I pull back. I tuck in. I go quiet. I stop loving as a way to protect myself. I tell myself I need to shut that off. I need to not care so much. I need to be different than I am. For years, I have shut off an intrinsic part of my being from the light. I decided to not love people so much so that it wouldn’t wear me down.
I was wrong. A little research led me to this quote by C. H. Spurgeon:
“…I said within myself, when love has learned its way into one bosom, it scatters its seed and fructifies in the hearts of hundreds more. Love begets love; let it once begin, and none can tell its end.”
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve thought a lot about the last year, about things that happened, about how I feel at the end of the year. I also thought a lot about 2015. What am I going to do this year? What do I want to accomplish? Who do I want to be at the end of the year? What will be my “one word” this year?
I was surprised the other day after lots of thinking and a little praying at the word that my heart popped into my head.
“Oh, but Lord, I already care too much. I care until it hurts.”
“Care some more.”
That’s the message I kept receiving. Care some more. Love harder.
All of these years, I’ve thought that love is what broke me. I was wrong. Love is what built me up. It is what has carried me through all the hard times in my life. It is what I turn to when I have nowhere else to turn. It is what stitches my heart back together again after it is has broken.
I ask David a lot, “Why can’t people just love more?” The answer has been right in front of me all the time. Because they’re scared. Because they’re broken. Because they’re protecting their hearts.
I don’t want to be one of those people anymore. I want to love until I’m worn out. At the end of the year, I want to be a ragged shell of who I used to be. I want to let go of hurt and anger and pride and feeling inadequate. I want to send so much love out into the universe that I feel it bounce off and explode like fireworks all around.
The message on Sunday was the exact one I needed to hear. It echoed the message that has been filling my heart for awhile. It wasn’t about being worn down. It was about being made whole. The pastor challenged his congregation to “double down” on love this year. I, for one, am accepting that challenge.