Vulnerability


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We’re all sinners. We hurt each other. We hurt each other even when we purport to love each other. In fact, it is easiest to hurt when we also love.

I’ve had relatives disparage my cooking. I could care less. I liked the dish, and it came out how I intended. But, if my wife said the same words, I’d never make it again. Same words, different source, different result. Why? Because my wife is closer. I am closer to her. Her words mean more to me. I’m more vulnerable to her–and she to me.

We’re meant to get close, to be more exposed to each other, with neighbors, with friends, and especially in a marriage. That’s dangerous, though, because it means we can hurt each other more effectively. That’s why we have to be good to each other. Extra good. More than to anyone else, because the wounds go deeper when we cause them to each other.

It’s very good, too–that kind of vulnerability. It’s what creates the greatest closeness. Look at out Lord. He became as vulnerable as possible. Not even just a helpless baby — He becomes a piece of bread! You know what can’t protect itself at all? Bread. No defensive capabilities whatsoever.

And that’s what He becomes for us, so He can be as close as possible.

He can’t grab hold of me like that. I have to go up to receive Him. He can’t hold my gaze or shout to get my attention like that. I have to act. I have to think of Him and prepare to receive Him. I have to physically go to Church and walk up to Him, rather than deciding I really don’t need “it” this week. “I’ll just go to confession and get it next time.” I have to think that I don’t know when my last communion will be; this may be it. And I have to think–to know–that nothing is more important. But it’s on me. That’s vulnerability. That’s the price of the closest relationships.

When you’re vulnerable, you can be hurt worse, hurt deeper. But you can also be held closer. That’s where you can be truly united. That is where you become one.

Copyright 2015, Joe Wetterling

Image courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Eucharist#/media/File:Ile-de-France_students_mass_2012-11-08_n35.jpg

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Joe Wetterling

Joe Wetterling

Joe Wetterling is a professional educator, homeschooling dad, and writer. He's appeared at national conferences, both secular and religious, speaking on education, technology, and philosophy. Joe writes online for New Evangelizers, as well as his own blogs. He's taught in the Holy Apostles MOOC program and currently teaches Natural Theology at the new Dominican Institute. He's a member of the Militia Immaculata and current President of the Catholic Writers Guild. Learn more about him at JoeWetterling.com.

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