Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, May 16, 2019

time to grow up

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable.  But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.
                                                              Madeline L’Engle

Make no mistake
The most vulnerable people in the world are children

and they are easily damaged

I have held malnourished children in Kurdistan
Suffering from severe hypothermia

And watched them die

I saw children in Romania
throw away children
stuck in orphanages without nurture and love for years
rock back and forth with vacant eyes

I have seen children
dirty and sad
living in the dump in Mexico City
in cardboard huts in the middle of tons of garbage

I have watched them play with broken toys
and watch me with fearful eyes

I can imagine the immigrant children
separated from their parents
covered with a thermal blanket
lying on the floor
crying for their mother or father

Children take the brunt of
War, greed and hate
They are most impacted when tragedy strikes
With storms assail

But not only children are vulnerable

Adults too struggle with vulnerability
It is scary to be open
It is scary to put yourself out there
To bare your heart, your soul

It is terrifying to think of failure
And poverty

But adults, when they feel vulnerable
Have more choices
They can see vulnerability as the price of intimacy
Or understand that it is the gateway to courage

Even when it is hard, risky, costly, adults can choose vulnerability

They can choose to be open and caring, anyway
They can choose to be generous, anyway
They can choose to confront evil
Choose to put people in front of safety

They do this
Knowing they might be hurt
Knowing they might be taken advantage of
Know that they may end up with less

But people, in response to vulnerability
Can choose to respond in a way that denies or rejects vulnerability

Rather than embraces it

And when we reject vulnerability, it gets ugly
Bullies are people who are hiding from vulnerability
So are the greedy, who consume and horde, seeking
Always always always
To put themselves beyond threat (but they never really can)

So are those who judge
And reject
And exclude

The “Wall” is merely of a symbol of those who choose
Not to be vulnerable
So are guns
Even religion can be a coat of armor, shielding us from encountering
The difficult
The uncomfortable
The inconvenient
The costly (how ironic)

When one is not vulnerable
One is closed
And often cruel

Here is the hard truth
The only way to be truly human
The only way to be who we were created to be
The only way to follow Jesus
They only way to truly love

Is to be vulnerable

Which is perhaps why Jesus said….
“…unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Growing up means learning to choose vulnerability
O people of God
It is time to grow up!

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