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Many of us walk around without hearts. Just gaping wounds in our chests where our hearts should be. Maybe someone ripped it out. Perhaps you tore it out yourself. The point is, you can’t live, fully experience life, without a heart.

Without a heart, humans become beasts. Not necessarily monsters. Just concerned with themselves, with surviving the moment, with getting by. Without a heart, or with a heart of stone, a person can give all the right motions, say all the right things, and still feel empty and unfulfilled.

It isn’t just evident in an increasingly secular culture. It’s evident in how we treat others. How on the surface it may appear as though we are fine, but like ducks on a pond, our feet are churning a mile a minute beneath the surface. How we may appear friendly and loving, but really keep everyone at a safe distance.

Being vulnerable hurts. Some may think that doing everything with your whole heart is too intense. I disagree. I’m of the opinion that great love requires great passion. In fact, I believe, it inspires it.

You might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “well, I’m in a Bible Study” or “I go to church every Sunday” or “I give to charity”, “donate my time”, or whatever. The truth is, those can be just stopgaps. Gauze stuffed into the wound. It was for me. For a long time.

What broke me free? What opened my eyes to see my self-inflicted wound? I prayed. I asked God to open my heart to a new relationship and not let fear intimidate me or keep me contained in a small, safe box.

It worked.

It feels wonderful…terrible…and everything in between.

I know one thing, I don’t want to go back to being a heartless stone. The world wants us that way. To jump from one unfeeling relationship to another. To never truly open up and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. The motto is: “whoever cares first loses”.

We are called to be different. We are salt and light for the world. 

It might suck some days, but then there are the other days. The days when I can really see beauty, see God’s hand working in my life, in the lives of others, and see His creation as more than just a place to build a home.

Don’t be afraid. It’s okay to feel. I promise. It’s okay to be broken, to be imperfect, to love, to mourn, to laugh, to cry.

We are meant to be more than beasts. Open yourself up and feel, really feel, the love of God that surrounds you. It’s not weakness, empathy is strength. Allow yourself to delve deeply into your friends, family, and significant other. Open yourself to them without reservation.

And strive together, hand in hand, toward God.