It’s there in every look, every conversation, every relationship—that gauzy veil that separates us from each other. We talk about safe things—the rain, how busy we are, how we can’t wait for Friday. But the moment things start to edge toward vulnerable, we blush over the nakedness of our souls and gather the veil a little tighter around us.
This isn’t a new thing. It’s been the human way for a long time—all the way back to Adam and Eve. They tripped, they fell, they shattered their perfection communion with God. And immediately they looked for a covering, something to hide behind (Genesis 3:8). But our God—he delights in uncovering. They tried to hide from him, but he pursued them, found them, loved them.
Then there was Moses. He kept his face veiled before the people because they couldn’t handle the radiance that reflected from his face. But God didn’t want a veil to separate Moses from him. He alone met with Moses face to face, with nothing between them (Exodus 33:11).
And then there was the greatest unveiling of all, on a Friday some two thousand years ago. As Jesus hung on the cross, he felt the weight of our separation from God. He saw how we are veiled from the Father, how we long to meet with him face to face, but we’re held back by our sin, our shame, our fear. And so, as Jesus breathed his last, he tore away all that keeps us veiled from God. The Temple veil sliced open, and in that single moment, he invited us to meet with our God face to face, without fear (Matthew 27:51).
So what can pull back a veil? It is love—only love.
At that critical moment when people say their wedding vows, it is the one who loves who pulls back the veil of his beloved. Like a groom who lifts the veil from his bride’s face, Jesus comes close to us, peeling away each gauzy layer until we are intimate, exposed . . . until he’s so close we can feel his breath on our cheek.
And we tremble, fearing what he’ll say once our flaws are laid bare before him. But when we finally gather the courage to meet his eyes, we see only love on his face. Pure, unstoppable, unquenchable love. It has been there all along. We just couldn’t see it until the lifting of the veil.
So what is holding you back today?
It’s scary. I know. But I urge you to begin this journey toward vulnerable love. Come close enough to let him pull back the veil. Love is waiting on the other side.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
—C. S. Lewis