Monday, February 11, 2013


Relationships, in any sphere of life, can sometimes be messy. We cause hurt to others, and we are hurt by others. Tears and heartache are part of the experience of living in a broken world.

It is hard to persevere in loving and giving to someone when it is met with cold thanklessness and unthinking complaints. It hurts.

The natural, graceless response of my heart is to simply move on, to find a warmer place to give and be spent, to allow indifference to replace the ache.

When it’s clearly communicated that my love or sacrifice given for another has meant nothing to them, there is an instinctive protective mechanism that begins clicking into place, forming a shield around a hurting heart. It’s a mechanism called indifference. I’m just not going to care about them quite so much anymore. I’m just going to do the bare minimum of what my identity as a Christian requires of me. I’m going to be kind, but I’m no longer going to give or sacrifice or pour myself out for them. They don’t see it anyway. They don’t receive it as love. What’s the point? I’m moving on. I’m done.

Tears of hurt flow while the temptation of indifference has magnetic and deceptive pull: Maybe it’s for the best to let my heart close towards them a little bit. They have, after all, really hurt me. Sure, I’ll continue being kind. But I’ll remove from their power the opportunity to hurt me again.

I’ll be indifferent to their unkindness. I’ll be indifferent to them.

My pastor, my husband, he sits beside me and we bow in prayer. His words go something like this: Take our hearts and heal them. Take our sadness and lift it. But humble us, too. Show us the ways that we have not loved as we could.

I’m almost annoyed by this. Why does he have to pray about humility right now? Why can’t I just let a little indifference take hold, bringing some semblance of solace? It’s not like I plan to be unkind or actually sin. I just want to not care so much, to develop immunity to being hurt like this again.

But praying for humility, and then knowing the grace of being given a little, reminds me of who I am, who Jesus is, and how He has loved me despite... everything.

Indifference didn’t mark my Saviour. No, a crown of sharp thorns, a slicing spear, three nails hammered through bone and flesh, these were the things that marked my Saviour. Not indifference.

Jesus, despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He responded not with indifference but with the greatest demonstration of love that history has ever known.

And even now, in all my sin and coldness of heart and thanklessness and unthinking complaints, He pursues me with an everlasting love that knows no bounds. 

Indifference may be my instinct. But love--active, sacrificial love-- is my calling.