Vulnerable long enough to heal
As a faith community, we at Pointe of Grace have been talking about vulnerability quite a bit over the past few weeks.
On the one hand, most of us find ourselves more comfortable caring for another person’s needs. We are more comfortable as ‘care givers’ rather than being ‘care receivers.’
Call it a need for power or control, or call it compassion and mercy. Sometimes we twist the phrase—it is better to give than to receive. We see ourselves not wanting, and certainly not needing help. We, however, are strong enough to care for you.
I think there is a call to those deep parts of our humanity, a call that asks us to care for one another.
It is a beautiful call, the melody is sweet and soothing, and yet it empowers and equips us with strength enough to help our friends, our family and our loved ones through a most difficult time.
But there is another song we find more difficult to sing. We are unfamiliar with the lyrics, the tune seems a bit odd and ambiguous, and we are all together uncomfortable hearing these words come out of our mouths.
We can find it so difficult to utter the phrase, “I need help,” or “I need someone to listen.” It can be hard for us to announce our pain, our hunger, our desire, or even our despair and loss of hope.
We try to hide or conceal our fears and our pain long enough so we can get it together. Once we’ve got life under control, we can reengage without fear of embarrassment or without having to be totally vulnerable to another person.
We are scared to be known at our deepest core.
To receive care from another person means we must allow ourselves to stay still long enough for another person to see us in our ‘less than’ stages.
To receive care from another person means we cannot put all the pieces together in the right place by ourselves; we must allow others to help us.
Sometimes we might feel there is ‘no room’ for our pain or fear, that others might find our story a burden or a bother. We might think our circumstances are insignificant compared to what someone else might be going through.
We silence the voice of our vulnerability long enough that we forget what it sounds like.
It is much more appealing to be Batman or Wonder Woman than it is to be me. I would much rather be needed by others, than feel needy.
But sometimes, others can show us a level of compassion and mercy that we are unable to show ourselves. Sometimes a friend can look into our eyes and see goodness inside of us that we had forgotten, or have never known.
Sometimes, if we let others in, we find our brokenness is not exposed—but it is healed.
And maybe, those moments when we thought we were totally alone, maybe we will begin to see the shadow of a friend coming in closer to sit with us in those dark moments.
I’m not saying it’s easy, this being vulnerable stuff. No, I think being vulnerable takes great courage. But it is beautiful beyond our greatest imaginations.
Vulnerability has the power to liberate the loneliest soul and to bind up the broken hearted.
We often think that being vulnerable means to lose ourselves; I think being vulnerable puts us on a path to help us find our true selves.
Oh, that we would have the strength to let our guard down long enough to let love come in and wash over us, to change us, and to heal us.