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Being ‘Seen’ Through Being Vulnerable

Toughen up.

Don’t let it affect you. It’s not personal.

Keep your problems to yourself.

How often have you heard these phrases spoken to you or someone else? Doesn’t it feel like some days we are encouraged to share our thoughts and feelings with each other, while other days we are urged to ‘stay strong and stay silent’ so as not to be a burden? From the moment that God created Eve for Adam, we were emboldened by Him to share our lives with each other, which means sharing the good, the bad and the ugly, despite how difficult it may be. Vulnerability has been and must continue to be a cornerstone of our relationships with people, and our relationship with God.

Exposing Our Flaws

Being vulnerable can be incredibly nerve-wracking and scary because it forces you to have to not only share your deepest fears and emotions with someone, but acknowledge that they even exist. A few years back, I visited a counselor for the first time. While I appeared to be calm and collected on the outside, it felt like I was kicking and screaming on the inside. I didn’t want to share what was going on in my heart or my mind because I was afraid of what my counselor would think of me. I was also afraid that if I put words to my thoughts and emotions, I would have to admit to myself and to God that I was not the person I wanted to be… like someone walking with depression. What I didn’t realize, was that by revealing the cracks in my heart, I was allowing love to pour in and fill them.

Perfume and Tears

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is more than just sharing what is taking place in your life, it is allowing for you and the baggage that you carry, to be seen…truly seen. In the

book of Luke, we see a real act of vulnerability when Jesus goes to visit the house of Simon, a Pharisee.

“A sinful woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind Jesus at his feet, crying. She began to wash his feet with her tears, and she dried them with her hair, kissing them many times and rubbing them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw this, he thought to himself, “If Jesus were a prophet, he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner!” -Luke 7:37-39

Now Luke doesn’t exactly paint a detailed picture here. Where is the shock? Where is the criticism? Where is the judgment, not just from Simon, but from the other guests most likely at this same dinner? Jesus, the son of God, interacting with a sinner known throughout the town? How awful!

We know how Simon feels about this woman but what went through this woman’s mind? She could have been kicked out of the home, ridiculed publicly, or physically hurt, but she chose to risk everything to praise Jesus in one of the only ways she knew how. This woman showed great vulnerability in her decision to sit before Jesus and wash His feet. She showed great faith to let herself be seen. It is because she believed in the goodness of Christ that Jesus forgave her for her sins!

Filling in the Cracks

Being vulnerable is not easy. It never is. But it is worth it. When we are vulnerable with ourselves, with God, and with others, we allow ourselves to be human, to be imperfect, and to be seen. Acknowledging our baggage and sharing it with others allows us to relinquish control and reveal the cracks in our heart. It also is the first step in giving God permission to begin repairing them with His love; providing us with the opportunity to show His love to others.

By: Heather From