Vulnerability

I can’t remember where I first heard it, but this quote has been ringing like a bell choir in my head for weeks now:

Love is giving someone the power to hurt you, and trusting that they won’t.

Maybe it’s just me, though I doubt it, but it seems like it’s a pretty big deal when someone knows the depths of your heart these days. And by depths, I mean information that could collapse you into a ball of tears if someone were to use it against you - some of the most humiliating and depressing things you’ve come to experience in your life. It takes a heck of a lot of trust in someone to be comfortable giving them that kind of power, doesn’t it?

At first, I wanted to think that it was a quote that really only applied to our societal format where we’re very inwardly-focused, and where we all walk around with a thick coat of verbal armor should anyone try to expose the parts of us that we don’t like. But it wasn’t until a good friend told me a story yesterday that it really hit me how God used this same model.

Think about what we commonly uphold as divine attributes (God’s characteristics). God was not created, he is the creator. God, in the blink of a figurative eye, could wipe out existence as we know it. It’s only by his will that we are given each breath we take.

So, with that in mind, why even bother with people? Well, I think the aforementioned model of love might lend a good answer to that. In doing what God did through Jesus (ie: become fully human and allow us to hurt him, both physically and emotionally), he extended his own vulnerability to us.

Chew on that for a second. The creator of the universe, that could end our existences if he so chose to, allowed himself to be vulnerable to us as an expression of love. Jesus’ teachings can be read as “good advice” in one way, but if you really think about how God demanded reparation for sin in the Old Testament, Jesus was effectively saying, “This is how you can betray my love and trust for you, and sin against me.”

And he continues to do so in giving us the freedom to sin and receive his grace. It’s through this model, where we are given the choice, that the love God receives from us is genuine. Were we forced to obey God, there would be no love, because there could be no absence of love.

At this point, I’m sure I’ve said something that has poked or prodded some philosophy buff’s last nerve, so I’ll quit with the extra-biblical implications for now. But as long as we’re here, why not bring it down to Earth? How are you doing in this regard? How vulnerable are you to the people you’re close to?

I’ll lead by example and bluntly say that, for the amount of “friends” I have, I think it’s pathetic how few of them know me on a real personal level. And it’s entirely my own doing. I trust small handful of people in my life with very personal information. I know those people will never hurt me because they’ve proven it time and time again. But to those whom I don’t willingly share my personal life, I’ve developed some kind of “rationale” as to why I don’t. Rationale, at the end of the day, is just a reason for me to continue to be scared.

Perhaps I’m scared of what people will think if they knew that I’d been medicated for clinical depression on more than one occasion. It could be I’m concerned that people will think less of me for having been engaged once upon a time, and ending the relationship and leaving my fiancé in the dust. Maybe I’m petrified to think of how most of Immersion would react if they knew that one of their worship leaders used to be a raging pothead.

Oops…

1 Comment:

  1. JC Denton said...
    Quite inspiring, and quite Real. Thank you Luke.

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