Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vulnerability

Do you ever feel like you do not have what it takes? What exactly does it take to be a man, win a girl's heart, provide for yourself (or others), or to meet someone's standards?

My real question is, what are you hiding behind? When Adam and Eve disobeyed God they realised they were naked. In that moment they experienced a strange new feeling: the need to hide.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines naked as: discovered; unarmed; defenceless; open; exposed; having no means of defence or protection against an enemy's attack, or against other injury. Due to our current, almost exclusive, use of the word 'naked' to mean 'unclothed' we often substitute the word vulnerable to express those ideas.

Who do you allow to see you naked?

Who are you willing to allow to discover you, unarmed, defences down emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually? Is there anyone with whom you are always willing to be vulnerable? Someone who does not laugh at your deepest dreams, hurts, desires, feelings of failure, and lack of meeting standards (yours, theirs, or God's)?

Be honest.

We do not have what it takes. We withdraw from others, even God, at some point. There are times when we become uncomfortable and want to hide.

I will be honest. I hide behind my personality, my intellect, and my appearance. If I am friendly, fun to be around, cheerful, kind, and hopeful, then surely others will like me. In my general circle of friends if I am intelligent then I obviously have what it takes to be a well-respected, thinking Christian - or even a good member of society. If I shop at Goodwill but look classy, I will not appear as poor or uneducated. I am so afraid of people seeing through my fa├žade of being a good Christian, a valuable member of humanity. I think that I can determine my own worth. Somehow I believe the authority to set the standards for what it takes to be good or valuable is mine.

But God.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.8) God loved us when we were unlovable. God loved us when we spit in His face and ran the opposite way of His outstretched arms. God loved us when we did not have what it takes. God loved us when we were naked and vulnerable. And He still does.
"To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable."
~ C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
It is God Who makes us lovable. It is God Who has what it takes. It is God Who has the authority to set the standards, and God Who meets them. God was vulnerable enough to love us first. He was naked on a tree, spilling out his life blood to make His love visible.


~ Johanna

7 comments:

  1. oh Jody, I love you. I love what you write, and this so hits home, is so wonderful, is so thought-provoking. I remember a couple years back when we sat on a couch in Summit and had a really nice talk. Wish we could do that again. So much has changed since then. Love you dearly, dear friend!

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    1. Ruth Ann,
      I have thought of you many times this past week as IPS classes have begun. Wish you were here again so that we could go for a walk and talk about the things the LORD has laid on our hearts. I am so thankful that He shapes my thoughts into words to speak to others!
      Love you!
      ~ Jody

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  2. Jody!!! I tried calling you today, but somehow in my new phone, your number is now wrong. I'm here!! Call me Dearest!

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  3. Oh my Jody... again you win. <3 xox
    Every time we spend hours talking I feel like I've done something that truly matters. Your heart is precious, lovely one!

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    1. My dear Lyndi,

      I drove home and went to bed with a glad heart, and woke feeling like I might overflow with a good theme: praise to our God!

      Every time we spend time discussing what is on our hearts, time in prayer, and time laughing until our sides hurt, I am humbled by God's great kindness at allowing us to be friends and to be just across town from one another. I am blessed and refreshed by your friendship and your heart for the LORD!

      Much love,
      ~ jody

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  4. What an absolutely beautiful post Jody, as usual. I miss you!

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    1. Hannah!

      You are always so gracious. :) How are you? Are you all ready for your wedding?

      Miss you!
      ~ J

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