The Hardest of Loves

There are people in the world who just shine. They are bright and bold and have big, winsome personalities and they are so easy to love. And there are other people who like the backseat; they are quiet and humble and go about their business without so much as a whisper. Steady, dependable, oh so lovely. And they are easy to love too. There are funny people, helpful people, charming people…there are so many types of people who are easy to love.

And maybe we can fall for the notion that maybe these people – because they are not broken around the edges….you know, chipped or ragged at the corners…because they seem to illuminate more than others – deserve our love and admiration, our adoration. Because it’s just so plain easy to do all of those things.

Then there are others.

Others whose chipped and ragged is always visible. Whose brokenness is a curt tongue or a scowling brow. Whose days are a constant shadow or a bleak raincloud. Hopelessness is a badge and fear is a weapon. Bitterness has stained and unforgiveness has tarnished. All that brokenness, laid out and bare for everyone to see. They are the hardest love.

But are we not called to the hardest of loves? Are we not the people whose God triumphs over the darkness? A light that shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it?

John Bradford

We cannot sit in ivory towers waiting to let down our hair to the bright stars and the sunny folk to pass by our windows. Sure, it is so much more comfortable to love the deserving and embrace the kind. Giving deep metaphor hugs to the acceptable few.

But what have we done when we do this? Whose name do we go in when we only sit with the easy and welcome the warm? When we have time only for those who do not knock the varnish off our own neatness and sensibilities?

We do two things.

1. We forget that behind every cheerful smile, energetic laugh, behind every easy love is a broken human, living imperfectly. Just maybe by virtue of life and circumstances is managing it better than others. We draw our circles of acceptability and we step in them and we invite in these people who have met our standard. We love them because they do not make it difficult for us. They have locked their dark, broken and unhappy in a box and stored it away. No confrontations for us.That makes everything so nice thank you very much.

But do we REALLY love them?

Can we really love with superficiality and veneers of affection? Do we meet each other’s needs when we love the easiest of loves in the easiest of ways?

2. We forget where we came from. That while we were still sinners Christ died for us. We are the hardest of loves. How lavish is the grace that saved us?

I knew a boy once. A brother. A son. Not a popular boy. He was mean and confrontational. Every sentence was littered with obscenity and he bragged about his casual misdemeanours. He was a hard love. When his Dad left, he chose one of his two sons. He chose the brother. Not this boy. So if we do not choose him, if we don’t tell him Jesus chose him when he went to the cross. then who will ever choose him?

Do we remember that there but for the grace of God go I?

Our streets, our villages, our towns, our schools, our communities are brim full of brokenness and hopelessness. If we are not the light to the world, and the city on a hill, then who even are we?


It takes an extra measure of grace. It takes an extra helping of mercy. It takes a surrendered heart and an open mind to love life’s hardest loves. But we are never going to rock this world until we do. Until we have loved deeply and authentically and we have loved the hardest of loves.

Grace and Love

Helen x

Linked with The Time Warp Wife, Purposeful Faith, Cornerstone Confessions, A Little R’nR, Whole Hearted Home, 3D Lessons 4 Life, Susan B Mead


  1. What beautiful writing. Loved this!


  2. Oh, I so understand the hard to love syndrome. I’m learning, person by person, encounter by encounter, to love others the way God loves me (because I can be pretty hard to love sometimes, too). I fail some days, but I get back up and try to love again.


  3. Oh, Helen…beautiful, just beautiful! My heart beats with yours…and yet I still needed this reminder. I think this all the time, and yet when I read your blog, I realized my blind spot for a few people in my life. “Whose name do we go in when we only sit with the easy and welcome the warm?” <—convicting in all the right ways. Blessings from "Espressos of Faith" via #DanceWithJesus! Tweeting and pinning!


  4. This is beautifully said, and so timely as my pride is being chipped away slowly. Thank you for reinforcing God’s truth — just what I need to hear! {Found your blog from Twitter today through a mutual follow. I am @Godsfiningfire} You have a nice site here, Helen. ~Joyce


  5. I so needed this today. Thank you Helen. Oh how I need grace. I need to give it more with a family member that’s the hardest of loves for me. I so appreciate the heart behind this post. So good to find you through #RaRaLinkup. ((hugs)) Amy


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