“And it’s draining all of me
Oh they find it hard to believe
I’ll be wearing these scars
For everyone to see”
(Lyrics from the Song Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis, 2008)
It’s an old song that I once scoffed at because it just seemed too painful that certainly no happiness can come out of it. I mean nobody wants to lick a lollipop if they know that a wound would open on their tongue with every lick. We’ve been wired to think that love is cotton candy and fluff. Hollywood has given us this idealistic image of love that the words of Leona Lewis, “I keep bleeding, I keep bleeding love” is just too morbid, gory, messy and really just too much.
But here’s the truth. No sugar-coating, hard to swallow truth. We are called to bleed in loving. We are called to suffer in loving. Every single person knows what it is like to yearn for someone to see them for who they are, recognize their beauty, and they too long to see another. Genuinely see, with all the interior complexities, brokenness and wounds that come with that person. They long to be loved and wanted. And this yearning and longing may sometimes push them to do the ridiculous like going after things that look like love but are not. They choose the counterfeits instead of the real thing because the longing is real and the longing needs to be satisfied.
Our broken culture has led us to grasp at the things that bring us pleasure, but pleasure that lasts only for a while. What we don’t realize is that ache, that longing in us, is instilled in us because we were made for something bigger than ourselves, and more than this limited earth has to offer. Even if the most amazing guy or girl stepped into your life right now, they would not be able to satisfy that longing, because that ache in you belongs to your Creator. It is the ache in the creature to be with its Creator’s embrace once again. Waiting is hard. Dwelling in the ache is hard. You will feel drained and wonder who coming to stop you from bleeding. But that’s the thing. Love, total self-giving love, will always entail pain and vulnerability. It will require you to look at the wounds you bear so that you can put them before God in absolute surrender to be glorified. No man or woman can do that for you. Only Christ.
Christ can make your bleeding worthwhile because He knows what it meant and felt like to bleed for you. So don’t be afraid of the ache. Sometimes God calls us to remain in the ache to prepare us for something indescribably beautiful. If you did not go through the ache, you will not be prepared for the glory God has in store for you.