“We cannot have a meal together in peace with guns hanging over our shoulders and pistols attached to our belts. When we break bread together we leave our arms – whether they are physical or mental – at the door and enter into a place of mutual vulnerability and trust.”~Henri Nouwen
You weren’t afraid to make Yourself vulnerable, were you, brave Jesus?
How often I forget that Your divinity found its place in human skin. You lived real life, walked real roads, slept real sleep, stared real people in the eye. You weren’t afraid of skin-to-skin, weren’t afraid of hard conversations, weren’t afraid of silence. You sat with strangers and risked comfort and came unarmed to a table filled with folks who wielded weapons of deceit and betrayal. You ate and You drank – and You stripped down to nothing and washed dirty feet.
Oh, please keep me vulnerable. Make me unafraid to wear the skin of a servant, unafraid to risk it all even for those who may never see me. Help me to view every person I see as someone deserving of my time, my prayers, my fellowship. Please forgive me the times I hold myself in higher regard than others, no matter their lot or disposition. May I treat this life with the same regard as You did – and do.
As I sat on the train from London to Holyhead, I noticed the suspicious glances. We tend to hold others at a distance – even those who look like us. We’re told to be cautious, watch our backs, view everyone as a potential enemy because of the color of their skin, their religion, their lifestyle or livelihood. And I heard the gentle whisper, “What if you prayed for every person here?” And “others” became family. I didn’t have to know them personally. I just needed to be reminded that we all wear the same skin. I’m still praying now. How may I pray for you – what does vulnerable look like for you?
Last year, I shared the stories about pictures I’ve taken. This year during the month of October, I’m opening up my journal and sharing prayers. They’re not eloquent or poetic – they’re simple honest talks with God. Some prayers are joyful and some are screams. Some are said in the morning and some at night. It’s my hope the words might help someone else find the words.