Last week I was sitting in a car with some friends, and we were sharing a box of donuts. (If that’s not fellowship, I don’t know what is.) As we were chatting, and sharing some of the things that had been on our hearts – one of us came out and said, “vulnerability fosters community.” I don’t remember exactly what our conversation was that led to that, but I do remember the phrase.
A few days ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with some girls from my small group. One of the gals shared something really hard that had been happening in her life. We sat together, and we cried together. And in my head I thought - “vulnerability fosters community.”
This morning I was reading a blog about the beauty of living in fellowship with other Christians. As I read, I thought about it again. “Vulnerability fosters community.”
Side note before I get into what this blog post is really about…. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that if God is trying to teach you something – BOY, will He teach it to you. It will come up in conversations, sermons, blog posts, Facebook posts, books – whatever it is, God WILL get His point across. And that is what I feel has been happening with this lesson for me.
Vulnerability fosters community.
The word vulnerability literally means allowing yourself to be exposed to the possibility of being harmed, physically or emotionally. That’s a scary thought. Why would anyone want to intentionally give someone the chance to hurt them? I believe, though, that the only time anyone is able to truly love you and care for you is when you are vulnerable with them. Let me unpack that a little bit.
If you only are willing to let someone see the cleaned up, put-together, nice and neat version of you – are they really able to love the real you? If someone doesn’t know any of the real, messy, broken pieces of you – do they get a chance to truly accept you for who you are?
The reality of the matter is – none of us are perfect. Not even one of us. By nature, we are sinful. By nature, we are broken and far from God. Every one of us has some kind of junk in our heart that we don’t want anyone else to see. And that’s the beauty of being willing to share. When we give people a little glimpse into our real, raw lives – it gives them permission to show us the same. And when we are all willing to let people see us, something beautiful happens. We collectively recognize that we are broken, and that we need a savior. We are able to come together, and really love each other. We can show each other grace, because we know that we need it too.
We are all on the same page with this one. We all need Jesus. And when we can come together, sharing that common desire… THAT is when we will find community.
Kieran // @kcgarv