In a previous post I described how I intend to ‘listen’ more to God over the period of Lent. Well, I’m trying. I’m not sure what I’m hearing, but in the quiet I am usually struck by an overarching theme in my life: the call to vulnerability. Brene Brown describes vulnerability as a combination of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. That resonates with me.

I could describe countless vulnerable situations, for instance: assuming my current role at The Dale, being a fundraiser, trying to be a caregiver for a variety of people, being a mom to a teenager, even endeavouring to care for friendships. When I consider this list, none of the items are things I would give up so as to feel less vulnerable. I would also argue that they aren’t a measure of weakness (though I might feel weak in them), but rather opportunities to imagine what’s possible, rely on others, and find bits of courage to keep going.

One day at a drop-in I was feeling overwhelmed with life stuff. A dear Dale friend walked up to me asking for things I didn’t have to give and I fell apart. She grabbed me by the arm, took me into the storage room, hugged me and repeatedly said, “let it out, put it all on me, I can handle it, put it all on me”. Two things were going through my mind simultaneously: my friend, you are being Jesus to me right now AND I don’t want to put this on you because you have more than you can handle already. I felt exposed, exhausted and entirely vulnerable. I was reminded though that to this person my tears were a gift. I always say that I want The Dale to be a place where we can all give and receive and this was an opportunity for that.

Vulnerability can be scary. I think what would terrify me more though is to not risk and wonder what could have been. Maybe this Lent I am being invited to listen and hear what the next leg of the journey might look like, however uncertain it may be. I’ve had a Sara Groves song rolling through my head during times of prayer. I think it encapsulates my ongoing conversation with God, one that will continue even past Easter.

Loving a person just the way they are, it’s no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we’re waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me
I’ll hold on to you
Let’s find out the beauty of seeing things through

There’s a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It’s a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can’t occupy the same spaces
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me
I’ll hold on to you
Let’s find out the beauty of seeing things through

If we go looking for offense
We’re going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We’re going to find it