Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pain and Vulnerability

Relationships are a struggle aren't they? Sometimes I think it would be so much easier if I ran away. I'm thinking of a song John Travolta sings (written by Paul Williams) "What would they say if we up and ran away from all the roaring crowds and the downtown city faces? Would they carry on and on when they found that we were gone or would they let us go?" It is impossible to be an island. We can't live life in a vacuum but at the same time people are fickle. You can't trust them, well-- you can only trust them as far as they serve the LORD. So how do you engage people and remain safe?

My answer? You can't. I remember a saying I had on my wall as a child, "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is made for." That's so true. We were created for adventure! Adventure is fun and exciting but it is also dangerous, dangerous meaning unsafe. As Christ so amazingly illustrated you could get killed being a Christian. And I would wager to say that if we are not taking risks, we are not living.

I'm not so much afraid of death though. I'm more afraid of life. I'm afraid of the pain that life can bring. I fear people and their contempt. I am not like freaking out terrified. I'm just being honest here. Who isn't afraid of people? How about you, are you totally without the fear of people?

Contempt sometimes levels me and leaves me floundering. I wonder why. What's the deal with that God? (listening) wow, God always puts a new twist on things. The sense I have is that it matters be cause people matter to me. I care. That's true. So to some degree, the more I love people, the more vulnerable I am. Hmmm. I'm thinking of 1 John 4:7 which says, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." So, is God calling us out to be vulnerable? And if so does He also call us to hurt? I'm not sure He calls us to hurt but He does seem to promise pain. John 15:20 says, "Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

I think all that is true. But the thing is someone has to start somewhere risking and being vulnerable. If we are ever going to be a people know by our love we must also be known by our risky lifestyle. We would have to peal off that hard layer and learn to be soft and safe. Wouldn't we?

Any thoughts?

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