A LENTEN REFLECTION
The Impulse to Love
If somebody were to cut me into a
thousand pieces, every piece of me
would say that it loves – Chris Lubbe
The man who said this is a deeply spiritual person who is a native of South Africa.
He like many others grew up under apartheid. He told me that he was taught
by his ancestors not to stay bitter or vengeful, for hate eats up the heart, and
with a damaged heart, life is not possible.
In a way, we are each confronted with the same dilemma that Chris faces: how to feel the pain of living without denying it and without letting that pain define us.
Ultimately, no matter what our burden – apartheid, cancer, abuse, depression, addiction – once whittled to the bone, we are faced with a never- ending choice: to become the wound or to heal.
Terrible things are hard enough to experience the first time. Beyond their second and third and fourth experience as
trauma, their impact can easily make us become terrible, if we do not keep our desire to love alive. Perhaps the most difficult challenge of being wounded is not turning
our deepest loving nature over to the life and way of the wound.
This touching statement by this South African man affirms that the nature of the human spirit is irrepressible. Just as a vine or shrub – no matter how often it is cut back – will keep growing to the light, the human heart – no matter how often it is cut – can reassert it’s impulse to love.
1. Center yourself and bring to mind someone you admire who is still loving despite the pain they’ve experienced.
2. Breathe slowly and open your heart to the wisdom of their being.
3. Breathe deeply now, and let your
heart-breath wash over your own pain, the way that surf softens footprints in sand.