Quote: Greatest Desire

“I have sometimes wondered if the greatest desire of man is to be known and loved anyway. It is no secret we are terribly protective of our hearts, as though this tender space is a kind of receptor for our validation as humans. The closer we are to another person, the more vulnerable we are and the more we feel a sense of risk. Lovers can take years to finally trust each other, and many of us will close ourselves off at the slightest hint of danger. Introductory conversations are almost always shallow. ‘Where did you go to school?’ and ‘How old are your children?’ are safe places to begin. Start an initial meeting with ‘What addictions do you struggle with?’ or ‘When do you feel least loved by your wife?’ and we are going to have a tough time making new friends. It seems that we feel we must trust people before we let them know anything remotely vulnerable about us, and to ask for more before trust has been built is to contravene a social etiquette dating back to the fall of man. All this, I suppose, is connected to the fact that our validation seems to always be in question.

And yet it is through this system of defense Christ walks with ease, never seeming to fear that He would do damage by rummaging around in the tender complexity of a person’s identity. Instead, He goes nearly immediately to our greatest fears, our most injured spaces, and speaks into those places with authority.”

— Donald Miller