Let My Heart Be Broken: C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Four Loves’

Four LovesLife this summer has become a swift monotony. Every day melts into the next as the humid heat seems to sit heavy on time itself.

The miracle of summer, of course, is the transfiguration of the Cold. Once guarded against with coats and scarfs, it is pursued, courted — dare I say, worshiped. The extra time granted by summer is spent on watery pilgrimages to lakes and rivers. Men, women, and children perform the primitive dance around the lawn as the sprinkler keeps time.

Between dips in the pool and glasses of iced tea, I have also been blessed with time to refresh my mind as well as my body, taking Mr. Darcy’s advice to “improve (my) mind by extensive reading.”

Most recently I completed C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves.” As many better pens have spoke before mine, it was brilliant. I know it is a work I will revisit over and over again.

I could write innumerable blog entries and try to paraphrase Lewis’ prose, or I can simply share a taste by his own hand.

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness. It is like hiding the talent in a napkin and for much the same reason “I knew thee that though wert a hard man.” Christ did not teach and suffer that we might become, even in the natural loves, more careful of our own happiness. If a man is not uncalculating towards the earthly beloveds whom he has seen, he is not the more likely to be so towards God whom he has not. We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.

How many of us have shied away from loving fully, afraid of the pain our intellects assure us we will experience? How many of us have picked our friends based on emotional security? How many of us have dwelt on the edge of community out of fear?

How many hungry have we failed to fill with kindness? How many thirsty have we failed to pour into? How many strangers have we left on the front porch of our hearts? How many cold have we failed to clothe with love?

I am so thankful my God allowed His heart to be broken by me.

God, let my heart be broken.

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