On Friday I made a leap of faith to join in a community of faith bloggers through Lisa-Jo’s writing prompt, 5 Minute Fridays. I took a deep breath and jumped in..holding it just long enough to get a bit dizzy. Abstract thoughts swirled in my head as my spiritual equilibrium tried to find balance. I’ve been so hurt before..in other communities. I’ve been rejected. It’s not fair of me to hold my breath about each one after that, yet I breathe deep and hold it tighter, hesitating to exhale…bracing myself for the blow of rejection. Could I be reaping what I sowed when I was lost in legalism? Desperately gasping for grace.. Lord, please sustain me as I try again.
I tried that and it didn’t go very well.
Many are asking for the same things, encouraging each other to be…
But are we prepared for real? Have we seriously prepared ourselves through prayer and meditated on what raw would look, sound, or feel like?
Will our responses be seasoned with grace and can our actions stand firmly in faith extending grace to those who trust us with their vulnerability?
In hindsight I can say that I was not warmly embraced in my vulnerability. Most of them walked away. I was jaded by open wounds in my flesh. Open wounds not of their making, but salt has a way of hurting exposed cuts.
Here’s where I would like to open up my frail heart and allow you to see the not nearly-healed scars. I don’t want to drudge up the things that hurt, but rather share what helps to heal..what helps to support one another. If we’re going to be raw, we need to be prepared.
When I (we) share my (our) vulnerability, I (we) need…
Someone to be slow to speak, quick to listen. The words that come out may not make sense at first, that’s why I share them..I need to make sense of them myself. So let me get it all out. Just listen. No need to provide standard cliches, they don’t help anyway. Just smile and affirm that I’m being heard.
Don’t agree. A real friend doesn’t need to be in agreement with everything, in fact I’d prefer that you didn’t. I need the diversity to help me sort through everything. I need the differing perspectives.
Don’t build walls. Even though I need differing perspectives I don’t need walls that shut me out. That doesn’t help. Please stay warm, I need you.
Don’t correct me. I need the freedom to be wounded, sad, or even angry.
Don’t have all the answers. I don’t need you to have all the answers, I just need love. But do you know someone who specializes in these kinds of things? The kinds of rawness I share..that we all share?
Do give support, gentle support. It’s okay to say, “I don’t understand..yet, but I would like you to know that I care about you.”
Do confess that it’s hard for you. I find it comforting to know others feel it’s difficult too. It’s difficult to share it, I can understand how it’s difficult to hear it.
Remind me of his grace. I (we) desperately need to be reminded of his life saving grace.
Be patient. (tears flowing) Please be patient while I (we) try to figure things out. Life is a journey of discovery and inquiry while digging deep to understand God. His ways are not our ways so it’s complex to understand.
Hug my soul. No matter what we disagree on, don’t understand, or think is uncomfortable..can you hug my soul?
Be courageous. I know it’s not easy to stand by the side of someone who is thrashing about, especially if you feel helpless about my transparency. Just be there. Send a tweet, “Thinking about ya, Lisa” Drop by my Facebook page.. “like” something to let me know you were there. Please don’t be ashamed of being jesus-with-skin-on to people who hurt. Stand with us.
Share links…that you think might encourage me.
So are we really ready, prepared, equipped to hear raw, transparency, vulnerability?
Are we really ready to walk with each other?
Linking up with