It’s hard, isn’t it?
To bear your soul and hope for the best…To entrust your inner self to another person….
Being vulnerable is just plain difficult….and scary…and amazing.
Yep, vulnerability is amazing.
And not just for the depth of relationship that is discovered through those scary “I-can’t-believe-I-am-telling-you-this” kinda moments….
It’s amazing because of the freedom that we find in revealing who we really are…
You know what vulnerable means?
The dictionary defines it as, “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt.”
So, basically, I’m opening myself up to a whole lot of possible pain and criticism by being honest with you about who I am?
That’s why very few people truly embrace vulnerability as a way of life.
Because the dictionary has it wrong.
Because the media has it wrong (cue reality tv).
Vulnerability does make us prone to painful experiences. No doubt about it.
But I think we are focusing on the wrong characteristics of this rarely used word.
Why don’t we look at the positive effects of vulnerability for a sec?
Maybe the dictionary should really say, “capable of inspiring you to live out the God-design for your life in a truly authentic way.”Mmmhmm.
Let’s talk about the famed woman at the well from John 4.
She is a woman with a past that she is battling on a daily basis.
She is an outcast because of her ethnicity and her gender.
Jesus sees her and invites her into a purposeful conversation ( which I’m sure her soul craves). After all, her current situation was more focused on promiscuous activity than on fireside chats.
But, something inside of her leaps at Jesus’ words when He gently says that He is aware of her circumstances, her past, and the condition of her heart.
She could’ve denied it.
She could’ve walked away unchanged.
She could’ve even reacted in anger at His knowing words.
But she couldn’t resist the fact that this man, this Jesus, longed to know who she was deep down inside.
He was interested in the real her…not in who she was pretending to be.
No condemnation in His voice. Just love.
God designed her (and us) with an innate longing to be known intimately and openly.
To be seen.
To be heard.
To be loved into a life that is so much better than the one we’ve settled for.
The woman at the well was no longer who “they” said she was.
She was who Jesus said she was.
And her willingness to shed her layers of shame in an act of vulnerability caused her to live a life of purpose by boldly sharing Jesus’ message of grace with the rest of the town!
Yes, I know that people aren’t as forgiving as Jesus is at looking past our flaws.
But I do know that assuming the person across from you isn’t going to appreciate your transparency is a cop-out. :)
You don’t know what the other person will say until you try.
And you may get hurt.
Because, sometimes others don’t want to be vulnerable back.
And God-designed vulnerability beckons heart-changing, uncomfortable, authentic, challenging moments of realness.
Not everyone appreciates that.
But, that’s ok.
Because, God sure does.
And remember, He sees you.
He knows you.
He hears you.And He will always love you back to life.