I'm not ashamed to cry in public, I've shed tears from podiums and pulpits in front of tens, hundreds and thousands. Being moved by truth doesn't bother me; feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable obviously does. Vulnerability - experiencing the possibility of harm in any given situation - feels like a failure: it feels like weakness.
|wiping sweat away|
on a VERY hot day HONEST
I have done a good bit of thinking about vulnerability and weakness, strength and growth, since last week. One of the things I often use to fuel my thought processes, apart from seeking silence, is good input and I went searching. I found two talks from TED below (they're 20 minutes each - watch them if you have time, they are fascinating - expletive warning: there is mild swearing in these talks, once or twice, don't watch them if that will bother you).
"Vulnerability is the gateway to creativity"
"Vulnerability is not weakness... it fuels our daily lives...
...It is our most accurate measurement of courage:
it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change"
Vulnerability has been a great spur to education this week: I've learned a lot about my motivations and perspectives, where I've felt strong inappropriately and where I need to innovate, grow and change.
Yesterday, I read an interview (click here to read it) with a pastor in the UK, Vaughan Roberts, who in the interview reveals a level of vulnerability about the battles he lives with as a Christian. I didn't read that interview and think 'how embarrassing for him'. I thought, 'excellently done' - his vulnerability, his opening out an area of struggle, declares the hope and the confidence he has found in Jesus and affirms it for us all.
I'm vulnerable too, in all sorts of ways. So are you.
When we try to deny our vulnerability we damage ourselves and those around us, we close off avenues of relationship, we reduce our capacity to learn, we step back from creative dynamic. We give in to shame and experience ourselves as a little less human; a little less alive. If you refuse vulnerability, you refuse the offer of transformation that comes in knowing God through Jesus Christ.
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Corinthians 4:2-12