Day 2: the vulnerability of realness

The placement continues … and I am using this space to reflect on my experiences I guess … although there is not really a lot to reflect upon from today.

The day started with morning prayer at 930 …. which is great as it is a whole 90 minutes later than the cathedral, and we don’t pause at the red dots which I have never really got! (If that last ‘red dot’ sentence means nothing to you … then thank God that you have been spared but ask an anglican what that’s about!).

Today we got key dates in the diary and then I was able to get to Rochester in the morning and the afternoon to chat with some great people. I believe these people keep me sane and grounded. So although I mentioned above that there is not really a lot to report, I am mightily hit today by the importance I place on people who are willing to be real. We live in a world of superficiality where the illusion of fame seems to be idolised in place of integrity and reality. Even without the fame, people live false lives of correctness, wearing stiff exteriors to give an ‘I am ok’ vibe to those around them, when they are clearly anything but. To be honest, and hence vulnerable,  in our society has come to be seen as a sign of weakness.  I am really honoured that in my life I am surrounded by real people who are honest and full of compassion for others and integrity in the personal lives. They are some of the strongest people I know.

To be real is to be vulnerable, to be honest when things are not going well rather than pretend. To be real also means you want the truth and are willing to deal with it … which means when you ask someone if they are ok, being prepared to accept the pain when they say that they are not and to live with that reality … rather than trying to solve stuff with glib phrases. The vulnerability of realness is a risk, because being vulnerable opens our reality to others around us. That is a pretty dangerous place to put yourself.

I am hit smack in the face on this day of Lent by the vulnerability of people that in turn point me to the vulnerability of Christ. The Christ that put himself at the mercy of others and , ultimately, suffered to consequences. Today I have noticed the vulnerable Christ living all around me in my everyday world. My response today, to God, has been a simple but tearful ‘why?’ Beyond that I find myself speechless.

I give thanks today for the honest vulnerable people who have become important to me … may you be aware of God standing with you in the silence …

2 thoughts on “Day 2: the vulnerability of realness

  1. Hi Rob
    There’s an interesting reflection on your comments and our study at home gp last night on Zacchaeus. He was a pretty despised guy, small in stature, a sinner inthe eyes of the religious. Christ rather than condemn him looked up to him (an important piece of language when considering that this man was very small), recognised him, greeted him in front of others and then spent time with him. The effect of this was immense and it just occurs to me that our response to those willing to show themselves and those like Zac who are wrapped in their own world should be the same. Don’t be disheartened by hard hearts, you looking up to them, recognising them, publicly interacting and showing the love of Christ that shines from your work will make a difference. It’s not your role to change them, just love them as Christ loves you, irrespective of whether they are real with themselves, that love will impact them in Christs timing.
    Thanks for all you do and being in places that others find uncomfortable.

    • Thanks for commenting … you are right that our response should be the same to all …. and I think that then shows our vulnerability as well, which is incredibly important … and is again what Jesus does on numerous occasions despite being aware of whatever reaction may come.
      To be vulnerable, and receive someone else’s vulnerability, if you get my drift, is very special and, in particular yesterday, reminded me of the vulnerability that Christ displays before us.
      Your homegroup discussion sounds great … keep talking.
      Thanks again

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