“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
My response to a good friend’s question about the Brennan Manning quote featured in the sidebar on this blog:
To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace.
From my perspective, in my brokenness, being broken means to have been, at least temporarily, at a point where all of the veneers that I once hid behind have been shattered so that I could finally see with an unobstructed view. Brokenness is a level of clear perspective beyond what I settled for before. Like the night sky without the light pollution. People love light pollution. Thats why cities are so populated. People live in cities because it lessens the distance between them and other people, other things, other distractions. I find my greatest peace when I’m not distracted by the culture and amenities. I think that a lot of people flock to such things – I did at one time – because they don’t want to be alone. Once one has been broken to the point of realizing his or her need for something more and then found a fulfillment of that need that isn’t dependent upon other people, job performance, appearance, or circumstances, one can be alone – apart from culture and amenities – in peace. The light pollution that comes as a result of all of the culture and amenities obscures the infinite. People love light pollution. They love it because it temporarily pacifies their loneliness. I know a few folks who like light pollution.
After publishing this post, I just happened to come across another blog post that I interpret as a natural extension of the perspective portrayed in mine. Check it out.