Vulnerability is seen not only in our struggles, but also in our triumphs. We seek not only those who will weep with us as we weep, but also those who will rejoice with us as we rejoice. We seek empathy, that act of entering into our experience without the other attempting to prescribe, fix, or resolve; and without envy, judgment, or discouragement from the other.
I have had the privilege of knowing a few pastors who exude joyful vulnerability. One in particular is the most joyful person I have ever met. They are easy to relate to, open to connectedness, and not above sharing what makes them afraid or frustrated.
I see vulnerability as simply being–not attempting to appear any particular way other than what one simply is, not to project an image of strength or to elicit pity through projecting an image of weakness. But like a pane of stained glass though which light beam, the light parts are light and the dark parts dark, and it simply is.
by Tina VanSteenbergen
Sitting by the pool of my hotel on a sunny San Diego afternoon, I had plugged in for a nice long writing session. Just as I put my headphones and the Vitamin String Quartet into my ears, a man walked into the pool area. He looked at me and asked, “Is the water cold?” We chatted for a few minutes about the weather not being warm enough to necessitate a dip in the pool before we came to the all-too-familiar awkward pause of a conversation reaching its end. I picked up my buds to get back to work, right before he stuck his hand out and said, “Hi, I’m Brandon. What’s your name?”
I shook his hand and introduced myself, shamefully preparing for the standard small talk that occurs more often than not: “Where do you live? What do you do? Any fun plans for the weekend?”…
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