Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ministry & Vulnerability

One of the most important parts of my job is the constant exploration of vulnerability. I happen to be good at really two things while dancing: leading and keeping time. This makes me fun to dance with, though not necessarily that fun to watch. Of course a BIG part of why I'm good at these things is my instructor Karina helped me develop a good frame. I set that as a goal when I first met her and with her help achieved it. But additional to that, is the fact that to some degree lead/follow in dance is a practice in something I spend a lot of time exploring in my job: vulnerability.

Faith is vulnerability. It is letting go of the need to know and control and an acceptance of one's incompleteness. I have said before many times that I cannot stand up to those who claim religion is a crutch by claiming they are wrong. Religion IS a crutch, God is a crutch, but I am a one-legged man, metaphorically speaking. What am I supposed to do? Hop around on one leg? Without accepting one's incompleteness, one cannot find faith. For faith is born of need and desire. And unless one is honest about one's needs and desires, which is a very vulnerable place to be, one cannot find faith.

This is particularly true of the Christian faith. I think it is impossible to truly explore the Gospels without exploring the reality of vulnerability, for the Gospels reveal God vulnerable to the world. Unity with Christ is found by self-emptying, according to Philippians 2, and that also is all about being vulnerable. Finally, love is comfortable vulnerability. The most beautiful exploration of love found anywhere is, I think, in 1 Corinthians 13. And what do we find there? A massive running down of all the ways in which love makes you vulnerable.

And in everything I do, this is an important theme. When I help others, I do so first and foremost by helping them to see their shared vulnerability with God. Second I help by making myself vulnerable through honest and a giving over of myself. Finally, I try to help them see their vulnerability as something to be celebrated or at least accepted, rather than run away from.

One of the reasons I am a Christian, rather than a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Muslim or a Jew, is that Christianity suggests that one of the keys to God, humanity, the universe, and everything else, is vulnerable love. This makes a lot of sense to me, and seems to jive with everything else I know. It also seems to make me a better dancer.

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