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Thursday, July 31, 2014

When Life Forces Us To Be Vulnerable



What the truly vulnerable might be heard to say:
Why do you stare?
Why don’t you care?
Can’t you respect vulnerability
When you see it?
Help me dare,
Show you care,
Dignify me wherever I sit.
***
Vulnerability is everywhere – it’s in every single one of us, if we are honest. We are mortal and fatally flawed from an existential-eternal viewpoint.
But there are some, indeed many, in vary circumstances and situations, who are especially vulnerable. Just one month ago, if we bookend the month of July 2014, we received news that would give us a special insight into a hardly-to-be-predicted condition our unborn was in. Suddenly, as we left a medical clinic chocking back tears, we were joined to the ranks of the imminently vulnerable. Even our then fifteen month old son detected things were awry.
To be vulnerable opens our eyes to others who are vulnerable.
It’s a humbling place to be. Backwashed into a corner and reeling with bad news, there is the shock and weight of it all, but then there’s the waiting, the uncertainty, the wondering for what might be.
Being vulnerable can make us so much more open to the vulnerable around us. Such vulnerability, when shared openly, forges the seamless flow of relational connectedness, where love surges like a torrent of wellbeing in the lives of those who partake. God is in that.
When life forces us to be vulnerable, we have a choice; rail against the injustice of it or let it take us away – by faith – into the arms of trust – to hope in the invisible; that things will be okay. What do we choose?
Then there are those events in life that castigate us so terribly against the offshore reef we lay there strewn and at the fundamental mercy of the elements. In some ways (not all) this can be a blessing in disguise; to be broken.
It’s a Christian theology that I have experienced directly as a man of a failed marriage – to lose everything that meant most to me. There was no option, it seemed in the day, but to run home to God.
The current season’s decision is easy. Peace that transcends my own understanding is mine, though I’m still momentarily and most completely vulnerable – my family has been struck.
Yet, by faith, we hold out to others, the knowledge that God can make good out of any and every situation. So, we trust. We praise God for new friends; wise people who have been so vulnerable, yet strong, for some such time. They inspire me. They are the true heroes of this life.
***
The privilege of vulnerability is not to feel unsafe, but to know that others are unsafe and together we may love one another without limits.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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