Being vulnerable is like opening the door to your heart. We are entering a time in Christianity and society when people’s hearts are open. Jacqueline Bussie says this is law #5 that needs to be broken.
Law #5: Never tell your real story. Vulnerability is weakness.
We can go deeper when people are not judgmental and critical. When we feel safe to share, we can be open with what really matters to us. But when a person judges or criticizes us, we protect ourselves. To continue the analogy, we shut and lock the door.
One thing that keeps us from loving deeply is the fear of being vulnerable. Love happens when we are vulnerable, when we let someone see who we really are. This is an invitation to get better at going deeper. Every Christian should invite others to be vulnerable by being vulnerable. We need to take a chance in order to connect with someone else. This is the fulfillment of the truth: You will know they are Christians by their love.
The first time I opened up to my mentor, I was college-age. I didn’t talk about my experiences in El Salvador with anyone. But I opened the door to my heart like a shy child peeking from behind a door. She responded beautifully, “That took a lot of courage to share.” Other times she just cried as I told my stories. We were going deeper.
We all long for a richness of relationships and depth of connection. This happens when you open the door to your heart. This takes courage. When you share your real story, you are giving others an invitation to love deeply.
I never connected courage with my story because, in El Salvador, I hid when there was danger. This didn’t feel like courage. If I would have been brave, I would probably have been killed because protesters disappeared.
Relationships are best when they go deep. Not everyone is comfortable with this, but we thrive in vulnerable relationships.
We follow Jesus. The cross is one of the most vulnerable places I can think of. Perhaps the cross is a symbol of vulnerability. That is where our shame is broken.
How do we practice this? There is a moment in a conversation when someone tells their story. It’s like they are standing at the threshold of a door. Invite them to open the door. We have missed opportunities to listen to people’s stories, but they will share if we create an atmosphere that says, “vulnerability is strength.”
©2017 Belinda Perez McDanel