I’ve been told that I have am reckless with my heart…that I don’t protect my greatest gift with enough armour.

And this may be true.

My heart has certainly endured some deep wounds over the years. From friends, from family, from the greatest of loves. But the reality of who I am is this — while I certainly love deeply…I don’t do so easily. I have always been intensely cautious when it comes to relationships and I’ve planted towering beams of steel around my truest feelings.  So, if I open the gate for you, then I will never really close it again.  Because I believe that love – in all of its forms – is a miracle…and I believe the people that share in that miracle are worth holding space for in our lives.

This is hard for some people to understand.  It’s hard for me to understand. It’s not always easy to reconcile my willingness to show up for someone after so many years…after so much history…after so much pain.

But I do it anyways.

And I think it’s because in the midst of love…there is vulnerability.  And in the midst of vulnerability…there is innocence. And in the midst of innocence…there is a whole other person.

And if we have experienced that miracle together, a part of me will always remember that part of you.

Innocent. Vulnerable. Loved.

It has been both my greatest strength and my most crippling weakness.

The words “reckless love” have come up at church a lot over the last couple of weeks. And hearing them takes my breath away a bit.

It makes me think about a night, decades ago, when I was losing someone I loved. We were standing in a park, the sun had just set, and the pain had settled deep inside of us.

“This hurts so much”, he said to me, with a look of despair coming across his face. “I need to know that this isn’t the end. I need to know that I can hear your voice…see your face…be your friend. I need to know that you are there, even though you won’t be here…with me.”

I remember looking up at him with an ache that I thought would never go away and quietly replying, “I will be. Always.”

And I meant it. Because I felt what he felt. He was just brave enough to say it.

I think it’s why walking away for the last time is so hard.

Because we believe that when we give our hearts…we give a piece of our truest selves. We believe that while feelings may change, connection never truly dies. We believe in fighting dragons and shattering lies so we can remind each other of who we really are.

Because we are filled with reckless love.

I believe all of us are.

But when relationships shift, we often struggle with our desire to remain connected somehow to the people who have seen our most vulnerable sides. Even through time. Even through distance. Even through the immense pain we have sometimes inflicted upon each other.

We want to move forward but we don’t want to let go.  We want to feel closure but we don’t want to forget.  We want to hold hands but we want to cover our hearts.

And it can be hard. Because relationships can be hard and love can be scary.

But I was reminded today that Jesus was also a man filled with reckless love.

He left the flock of ninety-nine sheep to be there for the one who was lost. He left them there – in the darkness of night – so He could lead one of them home.

He left them all. And He left them to find you. To find me.

It was reckless. It made no earthly sense. And yet, it’s what loving people does to us.

We want to drop everything we’re doing. We want to rush to each other’s side. We want to venture out into the night for a loved one who has wandered away.

It’s reckless. It makes no earthly sense. And yet, it’s so beautifully human.

And part of me wonders what would happen if we let our reckless love loose upon the world? What would happen if all of us put aside our pride and our hurt and our fear so we could hold space for the people who have held our bare and beating hearts? Who would we be if we allowed ourselves to be truly seen and heard and felt?

I think we would be sheep…who would never have to be lost in the night.
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