I am quite the fan of The Walking Dead. A bunch of people who face drama while killing zombies? I’m totally there. I’m TIVOing that shiz. I’m googling the characters. I’m making Rick Grimes the wallpaper on my phone’s lock screen.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a show about the end of the world. And zombies. Lots of zombies. There are a few survivors on the show who must figure out how they’re going to survive a world infested by zombies. Some do. Some die. A lot of people die actually.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to ruin anything in case you haven’t seen it, but while watching this show the other day, I realized a truth that can be applied to our own lives.
It is obvious that when one is chased by zombies, one would try to find cover. Indeed, many people on the show do so. Obviously. They want to be protected so they put up seemingly indestructible walls. They hide. They run. A lot. I mean, honestly…how do they run so much?
But this isn’t true strength. The characters on the show who are truly strong aren’t the ones who run, hide and find shelter. The truly strong characters are the ones who can persevere without these walls. They are the characters who don’t need to run and hide. In matter of fact, they run right to the zombies and kill them.
These are the characters who are strong. They know how to survive. They know what it takes to fight.
In contrast, many of the characters who spend all their time hiding always end up coming into harm’s way. When they do, they do not know how to fight. Because though they’ve put up walls, they’re not as strong as their walls. They’re as strong as they are without them.
In the same way, many people in the world today put up walls around themselves. They are tired of being hurt and taken advantage of. They are tired of feeling pain. So what do they do? What do WE do? Put up walls. One by one. Brick by brick. The walls go up higher and higher until nobody can see us. Nobody can hurt us.
But this isn’t true strength. Because you’re not as strong as the walls you put up. You’re as strong as you are when they’re down.
If you really want strength, then allow yourself to love. Allow people to see who you really are. Show them. Fight the feelings of inferiority and doubt. Fight those voices in your head that say you’ll never be good enough to be loved. Let people know you and if they walk away, remember that you are still strong because you will not allow them to deter you. You will not run and hide. You are stronger than that.
Because there are people out there who want to love you for YOU. And I know that you desire to be loved in this way because it’s the only true kind of love there is.
One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes pertains to this:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. 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.”
When Proverbs 4:23 tells you to “guard your heart,” it isn’t saying to put up walls around it. It’s telling you to put them down and instead guard against the bitterness and coldness that wishes to entrap your heart.
So instead of running, instead of hiding…open up your heart and receive love. Love others. And do so knowing that God is the mender of every broken heart. Even if He has to mend it a thousand times, He is faithful to heal.