…the strength of vulnerability. I am speaking of that paradoxical place where you discover the strength God has placed in you by actually risking the pain you would normally run from — especially in close relationships. You step into the difficult place and find you are not blown away. Hearing a friend’s criticism, you resist being defensive. You take the humble road, and find that it is the means of walking straight and tall. You say the words you need to say. In these kinds of moments, you can almost feel your soul expand.
Have you ever had an ‘impossible person’ in your life, with whom most of your interactions inevitably led to rejection and hurt feelings? If so, then you know the courage it takes to risk your heart – to be vulnerable – and to love in the face of that. That courage, exercised wisely, is like lifting weights in a gym, except that the strength you gain is an inner one.
In many ways, vulnerability is the last thing we would expect to combine with strength. The word literally means ‘able to be wounded,’ and therefore, vulnerability flies in the face of our usual concept of strength, certainly the one served up to us daily. To be vulnerable is to voluntarily place yourself, for the sake of a larger purpose, in a situation that could bring pain. You see something at stake — your own spiritual growth or someone else’s — and you are willing to risk your heart in a vulnerable way.
– Paula Rinehart
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.
– Psalm 73:26 (NLT)
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
– 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG)
Photo by Susie Stewart