Friend 1: I've never fallen on love before.
Me: I wonder if it hurts?
Friend 2: Only if you fall on the pointy side.
Even though the conversation was in jest, I think there is truth to that statement. Love does have a pointy side. As C.S. Lewis said, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one."
It hurts to turn your cheek only to be slapped on fresh skin. It is painful to fall on the side of love that causes you to pay back blessing for insult, to pray for your persecutor, to forgive for the seventy-seventh time, to submit to a harsh master, to remain faithful in the face of infidelity, and to wash the feet of your betrayer. In the end you find that love costs more than you ever thought you could give.
Not only does it hurt to give love, but it also hurts to be loved. It hurts to resume relationship with someone you have disappointed. It hurts to be forgiven when you have done nothing to merit forgiveness. It hurts to be loved when you feel unlovely. Love is a scourging. The blade of love cuts, chisels, and carves. The mallet of love bruises, pounds, and shatters. You are left pierced, punctured, bleeding, and blistered. Sometimes love feels like death. And maybe that's what it is. Because when you awake, you find that you are not the same person you used to be. Your old self is gone; you are new.
That's when you look up and notice your Lover's face is tear-streaked. For you see that it is His hands that are pierced. It is His side that is punctured. It is His brow that is bleeding and His back that is blistered.
So when you encounter the soft side of love this Valentine season, the kind that flitters in your stomach, cuddles you with teddy bears, and tastes as sweet as a candy heart, may you remember that love has a pointy side. Thank God. For it is by His wounds we are healed.