Today I want y’all to watch a short video from The RSA. It is a audio recording of a speech by Brene Brown that has been given illustration. I used to show RSA videos in youth ministry all the time because they are incredible and engaging. I’ve watched the following video so many times I probably have lost count and I
want need you to see it too.
Sometimes in our lives, we are in deep, dark holes that we cannot find our way out of. We have all been in those pits of despair (I know, another Princess Bride reference. I’m not that creative guys) and it has taken someone to come down onto our level, to hear us, validate us, and bring us back up to the light.
But it takes vulnerability.
Empathy is, as Brene Brown says, a sacred space. And anything sacred requires us to be vulnerable. Empathy forces us to be open to the pain that we have experienced in our lives and to share it with someone else who is also suffering. That can be extremely scary. We have to reexamine and possibly reopen wounds that we have tried to keep hidden and shut for a long time. Being vulnerable can be terrifying.
Lent is a time of vulnerability. It’s a time of reflection, observation, contemplation, and being uncomfortable. Those things combined can cause us to feel very vulnerable to the outside world.
But what’s so wrong with being vulnerable?
In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he tells us that “God said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
Being vulnerable brings about deep and meaningful connection. It helps us to recognize our faults and fears and be built up in our weakness, simply because God is bigger than our weakness. God USES our weaknesses, because for God, every part of us was created in God’s own image, which makes every single crevice beautiful and worthy.
Human connection and empathy drive darkness out of this world. They bring light into the darkest corners of our communities and brings about justice.
As you go through your day, remember to be broken. Remember to be true to your story and your experiences. Remember to be vulnerable. Remember to bring peace and light into the darkness.