With some men, you can see the softness in their eyes. And when they’re around, everything feels better. You’ll know it because you’ll feel safe.
Don’t waste your heart on the ones with cold steel eyes.
– kindness is everything.
“It’s raining hard.”
“And you’ll always love me, won’t you?”
“And the rain won’t make any difference?”
“That’s good. Because I’m afraid of the rain.”
“Why?” I was sleepy. Outside the rain was falling steadily.
“I don’t know, darling. I’ve always been afraid of the rain.”
“I like it.”
“I like to walk in it. But it’s very hard on loving.”
“I’ll love you always.”
“I’ll love you in the rain and in the snow and in the hail and–what else is there?”
“I don’t know. I guess I’m sleepy.”
“Go to sleep, darling, and I’ll love you no matter how it is.”
“You’re not really afraid of the rain are you?”
“Not when I’m with you.”
“Why are you afraid of it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t make me.”
“All right. I’m afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it.”
“And sometimes I see you dead in it.”
“That’s more likely.”
“No, it’s not, darling. Because I can keep you safe. I know I can. But nobody can help themselves.”
“Please stop it. I don’t want you to get Scotch and crazy tonight. We won’t be together much longer.”
“No, but I am Scotch and crazy. But I’ll stop it. It’s all nonsense.”
“Yes it’s all nonsense.”
“It’s all nonsense. It’s only nonsense. I’m not afraid of the rain. I’m not afraid of the rain. Oh, oh, God, I wish I wasn’t.” She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying. But outside it kept on raining.
– A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
A person who feels safe is bound to show you their best. The heart that knows it is loved by present company will blossom beautifully. Because it feels safe, there will not arise any urgency to strive or prove anything. Instead there comes a great freedom to just be. I know this to be true for me – I am the bravest and the most free when I feel loved and safe. But I am so prone to hiding when my heart is wary and unsure. Isn’t it strange how the human heart works? Yet, far be it from us for the condition of our hearts to depend on the risings and fallings of men. It is a shaky road to walk on because even the best and most loving of men can cause hurt sometimes. Nobody is completely constant or safe all the time, even towards those they love. That is the err of human behavior – it comes inevitably as part and parcel of fallen nature. Should we then push everybody away? How then will we cultivate intimacy – the one thing we need most from one another?
Maybe there is an answer. I think, when one abides and is constantly enveloped by the warmth of Father’s arms, there results a great sigh of relief from within – a beautiful freedom to just be because one knows they are already completely accepted; yes, even in the company of those who are not yet safe for the heart. The one who walks in the presence of Divine Love walks in freedom, because their heart is covered by God – irregardless of present company. It is an amazing thing to be free – free to pursue intimacy, free to pursue love – even with imperfect man. (Of course, there is wisdom in knowing which relationships are meant to be pursued with nearness, and which are better off attended to at a distance; but that can be pondered upon another day.) When my heart is being pursued and protected, it is easier for me to pursue the hearts of those who are meant for me to love. I am not as scared of rejection and hurt if I already feel safe. Only when I am loved can I love well.
I want to love well. I want to be pursued, and I want to pursue, because if all of life comes down to love, I want to love well.