I don't like being vulnerable.
It's not safe.
Vulnerable means you can hurt me.
The word itself is derived from the Latin word vulnera, which means to wound. So WHY would anyone choose to be vulnerable?
Unfortunately, as difficult and dangerous as being vulnerable is, it seems to be a necessary ingredient in authentic relationships. And the more important the relationship, the more necessary it becomes.
Relationships usually begin with a little bit of vulnerability that grows over time. There is a naiveté that seems to accompany a new friendship, romance, etc.
"This person seems to like me. Maybe even love me. Therefore, they won't hurt me."
Without thinking about it, my heart becomes wide open, vulnerable, trusting.
Until the inevitable.
Hang around long enough, and my vulnerable heart will get bruised.
And this is the moment of truth.
Will I remain vulnerable? Or will I pull away and protect my heart?
The latter seems like the obvious choice. Why remain vulnerable to someone who has hurt me? It seems illogical.
There's nothing more vulnerable than a baby. Totally dependent, naive, in need of love and care.
It's striking to think that God came to us as a baby. Totally vulnerable and with the knowledge that He would be hurt.
His love spurned. His heart broken.
The cross is the ultimate picture of vulnerability.
Naked, bruised, forsaken, betrayed.
But still He chose to remain.
Vulnerable because He desired relationship.
Because He loved more than He demanded justice, reciprocity, safety.
Vulnerability is necessary in relationships. But relationships require another even more necessary ingredient.
It comes before vulnerability, sustains through the inevitable wounds, and makes vulnerability in the sometimes harsh, painful world of relationship possible.
It makes it possible for me to stay instead of pulling away and protecting my heart.