vulnerable

On Friday I had surgery. The reason I say that so flippantly is because it wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. And truthfully it wasn’t. It was an outpatient procedure that had me home before lunchtime. I had a double umbilical hernia repair and other than the soreness and feeling like I’m doing 25 crunches every time I go to sit up, it hasn’t been too bad. The only truly difficult part about it? Patience with the healing process. For four weeks I’m not allowed to lift anything more than 15 lbs. Four weeks! That means I have become totally dependent on those around me for things I usually do so easily. I can’t pick up my kids, I can only pick up one of our dogs and I can’t even lift a laundry basket. So all of a sudden all of the things I’m used to doing for others and helping out with are sidelined for an entire month…

Now I know some of you might read this and think, that is awesome…you would love to get that break. But truly, I am struggling. You see, I’m a fixer; a doer. I like to be there for my family in any way I can to make life easier and better for them. But right now I just feel so vulnerable. I have to allow them to do that which I usually do for them. And it’s so weird. I’m reminded of a take on God that one of his closest friends had in his letter to the dispersed. He says this, “The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬. God is patient…God waits for us. Think about that for a minute. God could step into the picture at any minute, fix everything and turn every heart towards Him…but that isn’t love. Instead, God chooses to be vulnerable towards His creation to allow them the space to figure it out and learn to love Him and each other.

I heard a speaker a few years ago whose final prayer still rings in my ear every so often. He began the prayer, “Vulnerable God…”. I was so taken aback. Usually we begin with Mighty, Heavenly, Glorious, Powerful or any other number of adjectives that declare God’s majesty. But he began with God’s vulnerability; a reflection of God’s self-giving love. And I think, in the exercise of recovering patience I am confined to, I’m beginning to understand what that might look like. Love isn’t just doing for others, sometimes it’s being vulnerable enough to allow others to do the same for you in return. It’s realizing that love is a two way street and being patient enough to allow that to come back to you. God already showed us perfect love…now He patiently waits to see it returned. So perhaps may you find yourself doing a little less today, if it means opening yourself up enough to the love that others may need to show to you. And may we all truly learn to love God and our neighbors in the way that God First showed us and continues to show us through His patient vulnerability.

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