A rock feels no pain and an island never cries. Simon and Garfunkel published a song with these lyrics in 1965, which asserted an exaggerated aversion for relationships. It’s a song about being a fortress unto one’s self, disdaining love and laughter, hiding away from loving others in order to avoid the inevitable sadness that comes with it.  The philosophy of the song hinges on the words If I never loved I never would have cried. I think we would all agree that isolation from love is never the answer.  Love and pain go together, and the only true answer to this dilemma is to welcome them both.  

Love isn’t easy.  Christ paid dearly because He loves us.  What would make Christ go through the pain of the cross?  The answer is love and the joy that we, along with Him, will experience when we see Him face to face.  And even now, we can experience its victory.

Jeanean and I have recently been catching up on The Chosen, a series that bears watching.  One of Christ’s miracles, as you will recall, was where He transforms water into wine.  In this miracle, the wedding hosts are following His instructions, filling the empty pots with water.  Christ does what He says He will do (as always) in transforming the common into the uncommon, just as He does with us when we become His followers.  He does this because He loves us, because He wants others to see Him through us. 

C.S. Lewis wrote “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”

So what will it be? Avoiding love in order to avoid sadness and pain or embracing love, knowing that its joy is far greater than any tag-along sadness?  Choose love and joy!

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