Janele Hoerner explores our need to become vulnerable in relationships in order to follow Christ by serving others.
We live in a world of secrecy -- secrecy of emotions, feelings, trials, as well as who we are at the center of our beings. We reserve those feelings for our therapists or for our moms, but sharing them with others is mostly unheard of. We keep our feelings from our spouses and friends because of the fear that if someone truly knew us, they would in fact reject us. We are taught from a young age not to divulge our feelings with others until a solid relationship is established with anyone new that we meet.
Simple greetings, such as "How are you?" are meant to have immediate replies of, "Good and how are you?" But why? Why is it a societal norm to lie to others? Or are we truly being vulnerable with ourselves while trusting others to be there with compassion to help us in our needs? Obviously there must be a level of prudence with whom we divulge ourselves to, but we must not be afraid to rely on others, even strangers sometimes.
Our culture teaches us that we only need ourselves, but our faith teaches us service, compassion, humility, trust, and how to love. It is not easy to allow others to become close to us and to let them into the innermost truths of who we are, what we hold dear, and what we need. Though if we truly want to live as our faith teaches, we must allow others to know us at the core of who we are and allow others to give and serve us in our needs.
If we are to look for Jesus in everyone, we must see how vulnerable others were when approaching Jesus. They were laying everything at His feet. In doing this, Jesus was able to support and build them up. If we stay reserved and do not divulge our true self and needs to others, there is no opportunity for us and others to step up and act in that kindness.
So many in this world are living in their marriage relationships, their parent-child relationships, or their friendships with their guards up. In order to ultimately lay down our lives for others we must become vulnerable as we break down those guards in the early stages of our relationships in order to have a life full of love, trust, and vulnerability.
This does open us up to pain, although that fear of pain and of rejection is not of God and His divinity, we must assure ourselves. It is of the supreme lies of the world and the lies interwoven from the devil. We must reject the ways of the world and become vulnerable as Christ was, even if that means being rejected by the world and all that it entails.
To live in fear is to live amid pain in the world and although we must live in this world, do we really want to adopt its lies and risk losing our eternal salvation? The best way to teach others is to teach our children first, but when we are dealing with adults that have not been taught how to respond to another’s pain it is best to explain our feelings with words instead of expecting others to “read” us. This is the only way to have a reciprocating relationship of love, love based on the vulnerability of trust.
It takes time, but the best relationships are found when there is this vulnerable loving trust. May you be led to have faith and trust in your times of trials or your help in others' trials so that you may lead others to a greater love of Him.
Copyright 2021 Janele Hoerner
Image: Pixabay (2017)
About the Author
Janele Hoerner is the author of Loving the Soul Beneath the Autism: An Interior Analysis of the Impact a Special Needs Child Bestows upon the Family. She wishes to help all individuals to become selfless by the presence of special needs individuals in the community. She lives with her husband and their five children, two of which are on the Autism Spectrum, in central Pennsylvania. Visit Janele's blog at Loving the Soul Beneath the Autism.