Connecting By Vulnerability
As I continue on this journey of spiritual formation and direction I have traveled through many books, experienced spiritual hospitality in my cohort and have paused along the way to explore what God is doing in me.
The exploration I've been experiencing over the last month or more has been in how I and we (humankind) gain a sense of connection by being vulnerable with each other. This vulnerability also strengthens our connection with God.
Many have seen or heard Brene Brown's TED Talk on the subject, if not I highly recommend it. She discovered in her research that humans are wired to be connected. I would say, God has wired us to be connected to Him and others. In order to feel this connection we must be willing to be vulnerable and share honesty about who we are, how we feel and allow our true selves to be known.
I have discovered in myself and others I've ministered to over the years that we don't allow ourselves, our true selves to be known, I mean really known. Shame and fear keep us from truly opening up to someone and be known, even in our relationship with our Creator. Dr. Curt Thompson in Anatomy of the Soul says this,
“You cannot know God if you do not experience being known by him. The degree to which you know God is directly reflected in your experience of being known by him. And the degree that you are known by him will be reflected in the way in which you are known by other people. In other words, your relationship with God is a direct reflection of the depth of your relationship with others.”
Recently I shared a message at Hope Church from John 19 about how Zacchaeus was vulnerable. He positioned himself to be seen, he responded to Jesus' call and allowed Jesus into his home. Zacchaeus was allowing himself, even his true self as a "notorious sinner" to be known. When Zacchaeus experiences the love of Jesus, he over comes the shame and fear of being known and then allows the connection with Jesus to transform his life.
I am discovering that as I allow more of myself to be known, my connection with others and God is strengthened. One simple way I did this recently was sharing publicly a poem I wrote. De and I went to a Soul Care Day last week and one of the exercises we did was to experience God in a creative way by drawing, creating something with clay, making a collage or anything else artistic. After taking a moment to ask the Lord about it, I felt like using the word He had given us at the beginning of the year, Adventure. I went outside to sit with Jesus and listen for the words to a poem for this word. The words that came were written into the poem below. It's definitely not professional, but I post it here as a practice of being vulnerable.
Adventures in the mountains,
adventures on the sea,
adventures with His Spirit,
Is what He wants for me.
In adventures there is discovery,
of how high, how wide
and how deep
is His love for me.
Adventures with Him contain mystery,
of where we will go
and how we will arrive,
but to journey with Him
is enough for me.