“Vulnerability is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we’ve made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we’ve given the gift of our art to.”
It happened so discreetly; I almost missed the transformation. Until one day, I connected the dots. It had been about a year since I cracked open my Bible.
A few years ago, I would have gasped at such a confession. Not to mention all the guilt and red flags going up everywhere. Devoted Christians (like I thought I was) do not get to this point, and if they do, it means they are struggling with doubts or addictions, distant from God, or losing their faith.
More importantly, you would never want to blurt something like this out front of other Jesus people.
But one day, I did.
I spoke it aloud to a group of friends gathered around plates of homemade bread and quinoa salad. In light of what we were discussing on those basement couches and chairs it felt like the perfect timing to shed my little secret. Obviously, I felt safe with them. I knew we were committed to doing life together no matter the season.
Where the conversation went next, I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember the atmosphere being charged with strong opinions and thoughts, even before I said anything. Our theologies were clashing. Our unique dreams of community and church were all on the table. There was laughter and smiles and hugs at the end of our time, but something changed after that particular morning.
I couldn’t help but feel like it was my fault, like my I-haven’t-read-my-Bible-bomb was totally unnecessary and even worse hurtful.
For the entire next week, I replayed that conversation a million times over. I felt stupid for saying it. I wondered what they all thought of me and if I had ruined relationships with my innocent confession.
I’m happy to say the damage wasn’t as bad as I thought, and the change I sensed amongst us was a good one- a step towards more love and integration and listening to one another. But the repercussions of such a statement are not lost on me.
Randomly divulging that I don’t see the Bible like I once did, alluding to the truth of my shaking, shifting adventure with God will make some people uncomfortable, sometimes offended, or defensive. While others are excited and want to sit next to you on the couch and talk over tea.
I hope I can become the later.
All your haunting questions, hidden fears, and lurking doubts, the changes you are experiencing within your soul or the walls of your home, the beliefs and worldviews you are dismantling, slowly dissecting, seeing as if for the first time, yes, these are all important and need to be voiced in the presence of such companions who you know won’t wave a finger of disapproval in your face.
We all need people we can unravel with, who take interest and delight in our discoveries and wanderings.
These kindred spirits are pioneers into this glorious, ever-expansive Love. Seekers of God, they have laid down their desires to be right at all costs, and instead they revel in a hunger for the Divine.
Their lives aren’t chopped into neat conpartments, and when you are with them you sense yourself coming together as well, imperfections and all.
There’s no need to hide the contradictions you carry because they see through a lens of wonder, respecting the complexities and mysteries within you and every human being.
They are the ones who bring belonging wherever they go. Their vulnerability is elegant and freeing, a gift guiding us towards a life of continual emergence and graceful transformation.
We need more people like this in the world today.