The Bamboo Cave

So I found myself in this bamboo cave. Literally, yes (photo evidence provided). But also, metaphorically. Surrounded by a wall I constructed. I was enclosed. Isolated. Holding people at arms length. Not letting people in. Showing them only the bamboo shoots. The shiny surface. Hiding behind the solid structure. Why? All because of the root of rejection in my past.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. The feeling alone. The distancing of self from surrounds. The wanting to be seen by others, but at the same time, wanting to remain in this hidden place.

  • Why do we want love, but fear it at the same time?
  • Why do we yearn for a hug, yet also want to run?

Simple. Love isn’t flawed. People are.

People aren’t always supportive like these bamboo shoots. They can scar us. Leave us scared of love. Sometimes people are the bamboo shoot that sticks into your back and stabs you in the eye. Splintering your spark. Your reason to live and love. Shattering who you are. Then you’re left picking up pieces of yourself. Pretending the picture is still together, in one piece. Perfect.

Ah, how foolishly we pull up the poles of perfection, the bamboo shoots. A trap. A cave. We construct walls. We push others away. We escape. But it doesn’t make it okay.

It makes it harder to learn to love yourself, because you lose yourself.
You bury, not build.


You can love others, that’s no issue. Just. Don’t let them get too close. Don’t let them love you. You can’t let them love you. Why? They’ll abuse and use you. Wait. There it is. The root. The root of rejection. The past pain. The lie.

Love isn’t meant to abuse or use. Yet some exploit love. Pull the bamboo shoots from their own soul scarring, using it to sear your heart too. Pulling you into the place where they felt pain. A place of darkness. There is the lie. That light and love aren’t alive. The lie that love has died. That you are unworthy of love. That it doesn’t exist anyway. That it disappoints and destroys.

So you take the lie as truth. You run and hide. You build the bamboo cave as a disguise. But. What is the truth? Love hasn’t died. Wait. Love was crucified. At the cross. Calvary. But it didn’t end there. Love was resurrected. Born again. Alive! Love is alive! Christ, the Son of God, was sent to show us what real love is {John 3:16}. Love that can overcome death and darkness. Love that can be renewed and restored. Healed.

Love isn’t found in self or surrounds. Love might be a selfish gain for some, but that’s not how love was made. Love is salvation. Love seals, it doesn’t sear.

Love is selfless. Love has no shame. So why then, do we remove self from love? Why do we shut self off from feeling and emotion? Look, the lies are etched into the bamboo. I am undeserving of the love. I am hurting because of love. I can’t allow myself access to that.

“Oh, but child,”
the Father whispers in the ear.
“Love is saved. Love is renamed.
Christ came. You are born again.
You can change.
You are loved.
Worthy. Whole. Free.
Find your love in me.
Open your heart to me.
Christ is your identity.
Truth is trembling,
Grace is mending,
My Love is unending.”

When the solitude comes and the silence shouts and the Spirit rushes in, a steady heart is secured within. The overwhelming Love is there. The deeper knowing that somebody cares. Someone who will never leave you or forsake you. Who won’t reject you. Who will love you. Not for selfish motives. Who will respect you. Not place demands on you. Who will release you to fly. Not suffocate you. Not bury you. Not lock up the love inside.


Let’s stop this pattern. The retreat, defeat. Beating around the block. Building the bamboo cave. Hiding behind the “I’m okay”.

We can’t live a life of light and love when we look up, but not down. We can’t ignore the ground. The roots. What needs to be ripped from underneath.

Firm foundations break when the heart shakes,
when you don’t allow love to be your brace. 

The bamboo cave will continue to consume you, to cloud your emotions, to cut you off from love. A claustrophobic cavern. Unless you turn to the horrors that haunt you and hinder your heart. The fears. The hurts. The past.

Maybe you are living in the light. Maybe you living in love. But maybe there is also a part of you that is lost. You lost the hope in love. Physical love not spiritual love.

You stopped expecting love because you’ve made it a habit to keep rejecting love. This keeps you from accepting love. 

(Important note: giving love is very different to feeling loved, you can know how to love others but not know how to love yourself and feel the love that others show you – because of the denial and disguise, the bamboo cave blocking off all expressions of love from outside).

We can know we are loved. Yet. Not really know. Because head-knowing isn’t enough.

We need to know we are loved in our heart of hearts.
The place where love starts and darkness departs.

 How do we do this? We surrender. Lay the heart down. Let the Lord slowly dismantle the bamboo shoots. Flatten out the folds. Smooth those aches and breaks. When we chase the Lord, His Love, He will fill our hearts with fruit and truth.

None of us has arrived. We’re not there yet. We all have shoots of varying size, towering our bamboo caves, secluding us from love because of past pain and shame. The scars of social situations. The raw wounds of relational ruins. The burn of people who come, and go, people who love, then leave you alone.

Don’t lose hope. The first step is to identify the pain. The root. The lie. Next. Remind yourself – you can connect to the One who never changes, and whose Love will always remain and never fade. Then. The Lord will gently dig up those rotten roots and plant new shoots. Roots of truth. 

I am worthy of love. You are too.

Let’s wrap it around our hearts, this truth.

~ worthy of love ~

Respond from the Heart