If you could be any superhero which superhero would it be? What powers would you have? If I’m honest I’m not entirely sure but I do remember from watching Disneys The Incredibles that you shouldn’t have a cape! People do seem to have a fascination with the idea of superheroes and yet… to have a super power is not one of the characteristics of relationships we are looking at this term, in fact this week’s characteristic is the opposite – vulnerability.
So often we try to put on a show in front of people, pretending to be strong, putting on a brave face when in fact our strongest relationships are probably those with people who we are willing to be weak in front of. People who we are honest with, admit our mistakes to, cry in front of. No super power or costume required at all. Our thought for the week comes from M. Scott-Peck who says
There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community
I think this quote is fantastic. It shows how important vulnerability is for community to develop, but also how difficult it is to be vulnerable in the first place. To be vulnerable means taking down the barriers, removing the costumes, completely being yourself – and that is scary. Once you find those people that you are able to be vulnerable with, then you will find people are able to be vulnerable to you.
As is often the case, we find an example of this in the person of Jesus. When we think of God we think of an all powerful being – the ultimate super hero. However, he chose to become fully human, to open himself up to human pain, suffering, emotion. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” which occurs when his friend Lazarus died. But… because Jesus became vulnerable we are able to have community in the Church, and we are able to have Life through him. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he reminds the church that it is OK to be weak, because it is when we are weak that our reliance on Christ is strong, because we recognise that we are unable to do things in our own strength but can do it through His.
We may not have super powers like the action heroes of films, and we may not have costumes. However, to be vulnerable with each other, builds strong relationships, removes any costumes we may be hiding behind and creates strong relationships which others will struggle to break.
Challenge: look at yourself and work out what barriers you are hiding behind and how you can try to remove them
Prayer: Father God, thank you that you chose to come to earth through your son, taking away the barrier of heaven. Help us to remove barriers with each other and with you that we may become strong, even when we feel weak. Amen