I am not good at becoming vulnerable. Thanks be to God, and my faith communities I am getting better at showing my vulnerability.

For almost the entirety of my childhood, I was teased mercilessly for being  ” different” { mildly autism–which was not diagnosed until age 30} My go-to coping mechanism in those days was to bury myself in either books or my artwork. My parents , thankfully were financially sound enough to have insurance that paid for counselling; middle and high school can be emotional torture for anyone who is ” different” in any way. As I grew into adulthood, my coping mechanism was { and in some ways still IS} not showing any vulnerability to anyone. I’d had enough ridicule in my formative years to  last me well into adulthood.

My relationships with the men I dated were superficial: I didn’t want anyone to find out that he could not or would not love me in spite of my autism. I built invisible walls between myself and anyone who attempted to get close to me. Society told me that my difference made me somehow ‘ less than’.

It wasn’t until I started to really pay attention to the life of Christ as recorded in the Gospels that I began to slowly become vulnerable. As I read and studied the Gospels, I realized that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, became vulnerable on many occasions. He felt rejection, ridicule, , anger, loneliness and betrayal. God’s Self loves broken humanity so much that God became a vulnerable human. God did not need to do this, but God chose to because God loves humanity.

As a servant of Christ, I too must be vulnerable . Thankfully, I am much better at letting my guard down and being ” real” to my sister and brother Christians. I need to be more willing to open up and share my story without fear of rejection or ridicule. Through Jesus, we Christians have a ” tether of Love ” that connects us to God the Creator.  In order to be fully alive in my walk with Christ, I must be fully human.  In order to be a faithful, effective servant of Christ, I must let others know me as God made me.

I am grateful for Christian communities that have allowed me to become vulnerable.

In the Name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer…. Amen.