Sometimes, while at church or with friends, I feel a deep sadness. Maybe some of you, my merciful few readers, can relate to this. Where does it come from? Why does it overtake me at times.
For the past couple of months I’ve been thinking about this on and off again. I’ve heard people speak about it. I recently read a fellow bloggers thoughts on it as well. It let me know I’m not the only one that is affected by it.
What is it? What am I talking about?
Vulnerability. Or the lack thereof.
I have been longing to be vulnerable with other people, the people in my life and most of all in church.
I grew up in church. Went to the same one for years and knew everyone by name. Yet they were almost all perfect strangers to me. I knew who they presented themselves as and not who they really were.
I could sit here and say it’s all their fault but it truly isn’t. Even in my current church everyone is a stranger with the exception of one. The fault in all of this lies at my feet because even though I long for genuine friendship, desire real connection, want to know and be known, I stay quiet and don’t reach out.
In the past I have reached out and been snubbed. Tried to extend the hand of real fellowship and been brushed off, blown off and downright rejected. But at least I reached out. My problem is when I stopped trying. Started playing it safe. Only reach out when it’s a sure thing, a safe thing.
How many opportunities for loving friendship have I missed? How many opportunities for helping others and being helped have passed me by for my fear of being vulnerable?
The disciples of Jesus spent a lot of time together. I wonder if they were able to be transparent with one another. I know Jesus was vulnerable with them. At the last supper John laid his head on Jesus chest. Jesus allowed John to hear His heart beating. At the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was in emotional turmoil who was with Him? When Lazarus was dead and Mary came to Him he wept openly in front of all. And before that the sisters of Lazarus sent a message saying ,”Lord, the one you love is sick”. Was Jesus so open with himself that everyone knew His heart so well? Jesus was the picture of vulnerability at all times to all people meaning that God himself bears His heart to us. John 14:9God never holds anything back of Himself to us. Go read the prophets and you can see God crying out His heart for those He loves.
This is what I want in my life, my friendships, my church. Can you imagine a church where we can all be our true selves all the time without fear? How much easier would life be for all of us in the Body of Christ if we truly loved one another in this way.
Can we honestly say we love one another and not be vulnerable with one another. Can we really know one another truly without this?
In Acts it stated that the early church were united, of one mind. How did they accomplish this? Their hearts were fully open to each other. They might have disagreed on politics or social issues or on what to serve at the communion dinner but their hearts were one in loving each other and in loving Jesus the perfect example of what true love is.
I wonder what would happen to a single church if this openess of heart took place. Would it affect an entire town? A city? What if it expanded into all the churches? Could it change the world?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I pray God will give us all the courage to reach out to each other for the real and sincere connection I believe we all truly desire but are to afraid to take the first step. Let’s take it together. I love you all. Thank you for your time.