A Vulnerable God

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by windblade, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Last month I was listening to an interview with Jean Vanier, who is sometimes called a living saint. The title of the show was called 'The Wisdom of Tenderness', and indeed there was something remarkable about Vanier. I felt many, many burdens just unconsciously lifting off of my body and mind.

    I could feel the weight of heaviness that I'm so used to walking around with, as it was eased and lightened. I think it had to do with experiencing the rarity of unconditional love and acceptance. I felt so deeply as I listened to him that it really was all-right to be me, just as I am.

    Usually I have more of a conditional viewpoint of myself. Because I am not this or that. Or have done or left undone, things that I regret. And I saw that I carry many defenses around with me too. Out of fear, insecurity, being harmed by life and people.

    Jean Vanier was a leader in the Navy - I forget his title. And then he studied and taught philosophy. He wanted to find more of a purpose for his life. He found that meaning through caring for people with mental handicaps, learning disabilities, and other sufferings, by creating a home for them. By being family. He saw through to the horrible anguish inside each person as they were rejected by almost everyone around them. He said their anguish was "why was I born this way"? "Can anyone love me"?

    One thing that Vanier said in the interview that stayed with me, totally capturing my heart was that God is vulnerable with us, to us. Because anyone who loves is vulnerable, since you cannot control that your love will be returned.

    And he used the illustration of Jesus standing outside the door of our hearts, knocking and calling to be heard. Waiting. He doesn't kick the door down, he doesn't force it open. He calls and wants us to hear. To open to him, so that he can give us his unending, unconditional love.

    Judy
  2. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Hi Jam,

    I see that kind of differently - the why's. I think they are written deep within our beings. I think the injustices and cruelties that we experience are worthy of : "Why am I being hurt this way?". And for others being hurt - being born into hurt.

    But Jean Vanier answered the deep anguish of the people he cared for first with empathy - recognizing the pain. He had seen an asylum in France at a time when people with Down's Syndrome and other mental disabilities were just marched around in circles for most of the day. A very cruel existence. He brought two men from the asylum home to live with him, and created a family.

    This was the beginning of L'arche ( The Ark - in French), just his one reaching out to help and care. He said he started out that way , to be a helper, but it became more of him receiving deeply from the people he befriended. This was 50 years ago, and small L'arche communities are all over the world now. And a group of people who were shunned are now cherished.

    But I think I know what you mean in another sense. Perhaps from the excellent teachings of the 12 step-groups? Yes, if we're just spinning our wheels in worry or anxiety or stress, we need to let go of that.

    I saw your post this morning on the permanent one on the top of the page. The 'all are welcome here' one by TwoCats. I noticed that you had added to it just last month. I started re-reading some of the posts. I miss so many people too! It was so lively here then! I loved all the sharing.

    Is the Zembrin you are taking for joint pain? Have you been taking it for many months? Are you still trying acupuncture? I'll look up your post and check out the details on how you're doing.

    Take good care,
    Judy
  3. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Jam - I'm so sorry about the stealing of your bank account! What a violation. How are you doing now?

    I'm just catching up with your posts about it. The Zembrin sounds like it could be good to try, and I know that you really research well. Deep breathing is good for stress - gets oxygen to the neurotransmitters as well as moving the lymph glands to get rid of toxins. I have a very good alternative book called 'Unstuck' on depression by James Gordon. An excellent integrative Dr.

    You might want to look it up at Amazon. He also has a site for reducing stress. I think you would like his wide scope of thinking. Take good care of yourself through this stressful time! Lots of comforting, soothing things.

    Judy