With Age Comes Vulnerability


Be strong, Ada.  I have tremendous respect for you as one of the most deeply honest and loving people I have ever met. – A dear friend

Vulnerability is defined as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.  And over the years I have tried to be learn how to be more vulnerable.  In the past I have had the tendency to hide my emotions and feelings, especially when hurt.  And I would rather cut my own arm off than cry in front of anyone. But you have to let people in, if you are going to have any kind of meaningful relationships in life.

And maybe it is because of the pain of losing both parents so close together that has shaken me to by soul, or maybe it is just age and maturity, but I have found it easier to be vulnerable over the last months than I have all of my life.  Maybe when you get shaken down to your core, you have no choice but to let the walls down, because there is just nothing left. And now that I have time to actually grieve the loss, the vulnerability cannot be hidden.

What I am finding is that vulnerability and Grace are intertwined.  Yes Grace, that illusive quality which I have been chasing for several years now.  God’s Grace is given to us, and that is the miracle of His love. But what about in human form?  What is Grace to us? My mother described Grace as being nicer to people than what they deserved. And it is very hard, even on good days. It can also be hard for a fiery red head like me.  And most days I fail. But I try, every day, to have Grace and be better.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to hurt someone, and do to them what they had done to me.  And I couldn’t do it.  Instead there was Grace. Inexplicably. And right there, hand in hand was my vulnerability.  I could not have Grace with this person without also being very vulnerable to them. I admitted that I was very vulnerable to them, and to please tread lightly. I hope they do.

And maybe that is the secret. That as we have Grace with others, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable and for them to have Grace with us too.  And maybe on the other side, hand in hand with vulnerability is Mercy.

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