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Dr. House Learns That Love Involves Vulnerability

House M.D. is a Fox television medical drama that features the cynical, irritable, and brilliant Dr. Gregory House. House is a genius at coming up with controversial solutions for extremely rare and life-threatening diseases and conditions. He's also an addict who frequently disengages from life and relationships by numbing his feelings with prescription pain-killers.

In the Season 7 episode "Bombshells," House's girlfriend, Lisa Cuddy (often just called "Cuddy"), nearly dies from a cancerous tumor that requires surgery. During her hospital stay, House visited Cuddy only once—and he was high on Vicodin. After she recovers from the surgery, she confronts House about his relapse.

House asks, "How did you know?"

"How did I not know? How did I let myself forget for months that you're an addict? My subconscious was trying to tell me you could never get through this without drugs."

"It's a one-time thing."

"It's not about the pills, House. It's about what they mean."

"I was scared. I thought my girlfriend might die."

"No. You don't take Vicodin because you're scared. You take it so you won't feel pain. Everything you've ever done is to avoid pain. Drugs. Sarcasm. Keeping everybody at arm's length so no one can hurt you."

"As opposed to everyone else in the world who goes looking for pain like it's buried treasure."

"Pain happens when you care. You can't love someone without making yourself open to their problems. Their fears. And you're not willing to do that."

"I came to be with you."

"You weren't with me. Not really."

"But I wanted to be."

"That's not enough."

"I could do better."

"I don't think you can. You'll choose yourself before anyone else over and over again because that's just who you are." Her eyes slightly well up in tears, and she empathetically strokes House's right cheek with her hand. "I'm sorry."

"No, no, don't, don't …"

"I thought I could do this. Good-bye, House." She turns around and walks away. House is left there looking stunned.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Intimacy and Community—Many people in our culture are lonely and isolated because they fear the demands and the possible pain from loving others. Christ frees us to face these fears as we commit to loving others in the context of a church community. (2) Addictions—Addictions (or any other sin) may help us escape and temporarily relieve our pain, but in the long run our addictions keep us isolated from God and others. (3) Husbands—Although House and Cuddy are not married, many husbands (like House) fail to love their wives by withdrawing into addictions of work, drugs, pornography, sports, or other behaviors.

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