Have you ever seen the change that comes over someone when they find the love they never expected?
It might be a child who has never been loved by a family. There’s a hardness. A toughness. An “I can make it through life without anybody’s help” attitude about her. Then, a family opens their arms, home, and hearts to her. There’s a fight at first, because she just doesn’t want to be hurt again. But, as their love persists through the fight, suddenly she realizes she really is home. And though it may take months or even years, the change finally comes. And when the change comes, it’s an incredible and complete transformation.
Or it might be the man whose heart was broken in high school by the girl he just knew he would spend the rest of his life with. She walked away with someone else, and in that moment he became convinced he would never love again. In his eyes you can see the barrier. He is closed. He might have friends. He might even have other girlfriends. But, as soon as any of them get too close, he backs away and throws up the wall. He might wear a smile, but it only shows on his lips. There is nothing he truly enjoys. Even his favorite hobbies are only fun for a time, and then the emptiness returns. Everything others celebrate is just an opportunity for him to show his cynicism. Until that day when someone manages to break down his barriers. That day when someone loves him through it all and doesn’t let go. And then it clicks. He can’t help but love her back. And when he does, those barricaded eyes fling open. The cynicism disappears. And every celebration becomes filled with joy for the first time in years.
Have you seen it? I have. And it melts my heart. The transformation can make a person almost unrecognizable. You see them do things and hear them say things they never would have before. You see them celebrate when before they would have mocked. Even people on the fringe of their lives suddenly get to know them in ways they never would have before. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful transformation.
But, there’s only one kind of love that can do it. It’s the love of God. There is no home that can truly transform a child unless it is a home that belongs to God. There is not a romantic relationship that can keep from breaking that heart again unless it is a relationship that is centered in submission to Christ. With Him, it’s beautiful. Without Him, it’s impossible.
The most beautiful thing about such stories is that it doesn’t actually take a family’s home or a romantic relationship to break down the hurt and bring in the freedom. No, all it takes is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He does use His people to accomplish the purpose, but it all comes back to Him. It all comes back to the love that He pours out through us.
Are you that unloved child? Do you have that broken heart? God might heal your hurts through His children, but don’t look for it there. Look for it in Him directly. Open yourself up to His love. And let everyone around you rejoice as they see the transformation in your eyes.
It will be a beautiful sight.