“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability....To be alive is to be vulnerable,” says Madeleine L’Engle.
Jesus seems to agree.
During Lent we follow Jesus and journey into the wildness of the wilderness and find the power of vulnerability.next >
You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”...Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16next >
There are three items that most of us carry with us at all times: wallet, keys, and a mobile phone. Each of these serves to provide us with security and meaning — kinda like a "blanky" for grown ups. Of these three, which is the most powerful?
You could make a case for each, but I suspect that these days it is the last item that gives us the greatest feeling of power. The mobile phone puts the world at our fingertips: a simple text fosters connection, a free app creates entertainment, and a quick 911 call brings emergency help. Yet we know the frustration and vulnerability we feel when we lose our signal.
The psalmist tells us that our connection with God never loses its signal or strength. The power of this connection is our love, and it resides in the deepest places of our own vulnerability.
Luke Fodornext >
God, thank you for deep, deep love that reaches into my most intimate vulnerability and lets me know that it’s all okay. Amen.next >
May God the creator empower you to see your vulnerability as your source of strength, prompting you to reach out to the vulnerable and marginalized in your life.
May God the servant cultivate abundant love in you, allowing you to display your truest and most vulnerable self.
May God the comforter give you enough peace for you to share your insecurities and vulnerabilities with the world.
Luke Fodor is the assistant rector of St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, where he works with children, youth, and young families. He loves spending time outside with his two boys and wife outside at the beach, kayaking, hiking, or cycling.
Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Saviour