So here’s the thing. Unconditional love.

So there is this thing…

Sometimes I think that the damage of life, that the effort taken in grief, leaves very little. And to give to others seems to take an extraordinary effort and contain an unacceptable risk.

The natural thing to do when someone hurts you is to hurt them back. It’s probably better to just walk away. The better thing is to try to understand why he is hurting you. And one step better is to help him with that problem. To consider his pain before your own and to work only on that. That is the nature of unconditional love. Not just to love those who love us, but to love also those who would or who have hurt us.

Philippians 2:3 instructs us to consider others as more important than ourselves. In this case it would be setting aside my own need and my own pain to address the need and pain of someone else. To love and expect nothing in return. It always worked in the past. There seemed to be some capital in it and some return… that the better course seemed better for all.

So here is the thing: regardless of the call or the instruction, and regardless of whether I feel like it or not- what if the best I can do today is to walk away? What if I am so broken, so screwed up inside that caring for another doesn’t seem possible? What if I am so afraid of enduring more pain that I simply can’t put their needs first? What then?

I don’t need conflict. I don’t need to care. I don’t have a problem walking away. I am broken and what is left is fragile and brittle. The risk seems too great.

Even in caring for another, in loving unconventionally, there has to be an extraordinary source of strength to draw from. The answer would be something in the manner of trusting God. The answer would require strength from another source, and trust that my need and pain would somehow be of some significance to God… that He would handle my issues, my problems. I would have to trust that. I would have to trust that no matter how brittle I have become, no matter how empty and lost I feel inside, that this miraculous supernatural strength. And it isn’t a matter of feeling it, but of trusting that it will be there. That my brittle being would be protected. That the risk would be mitigated and that whatever safety rope was there would bear the weight.

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