October 6, 2021

Create Environments for Vulnerability

Written by Boyd Bailey

Environments of vulnerability connect us with Christ and to each other.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 6, 2021

But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matthew 17:7-8

While fly fishing recently with my four sons-in-law my heart was swept up with sweet childhood memories. RC Colas, moon pies, red worms, cane poles, hooks, small shot weights and bobbers were my essential fishing tackle as a kid. Now more sophisticated, we meandered down a crystal-clear river (calm at low tide, swift at high tide) with three small boats, three wise fishing guides, a swarm of homemade flies attached succinctly with elaborate, elegant knots, so each fly rod’s customized rig was appetizing to the fish.

We caught and released dozens of fish—pretty cool! But I was reminded that our fishing together was just an excuse to enjoy deep conversation at night around the fire pit, as a cool breeze off the river stoked the orange hot flames. Words wafted around like the smoke—the hardest year of my life: job changes, a new baby, three children under four, a new dog, a new house, loss of my mother-in-law who was everyone’s friend. Wood crackling, hearts exposed—all with love, as our Spirit-led relational investments drew us all closer together. Tears—sad indeed, but we were all glad we could weep together. A safe space with those we love is an invitation for hearts to be comforted and healed. 

The scripture above is an encounter of love with Jesus, Peter, James and John that really speaks to my heart about experiencing the gentle, loving touch of Jesus. And in the process seeing Jesus only, without any other distorted loves or distracting fears. Environments of vulnerability connect us with Christ and each other. Prayerful intentionality to be real leads to intimacy.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power] (James 5:16, AMP).

Consider calling a friend, parent or sibling just to be together to better know each other. Do not allow pride to prevent you from being the first to initiate, or you may one day regret not reaching out in love—not worrying about who is mostly at fault. Life is too short to wait on another to respond first, as love looks for ways to find a way to relationally connect in meaningful ways. A ball game, a walk in the park, a road trip, a hike, ice cream or a zoom call. What’s important is planned and put on the calendar. Remember money can be a relational catalyst, so be generous and cover the cost to convene. 

Jesus continually calls you to be with Him in a loving environment of vulnerability, so you can be yourself. Go to Him often for wisdom and rest, so you can offer the same to those in your life who are exhausted, ashamed or fearful. Love initiates. Love creates. And the Lord fills in the gaps with grace, truth and heart engagement. Maybe you fish for a family member by going fishing, or watching a film together, and afterwards discuss. Ask the Lord to give you creativity to create environments that facilitate vulnerability. 

“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness” (2 Corinthians 11:30).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me the courage, creativity and generosity to create environments that facilitate faith in you and faith in each other, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Application

What occasion or trip can I plan to bring together those I love in deeper relationship with each other?


Related Reading

Romans 7:23-24; 1 Corinthians 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 13:4


Worship Resource

Lauren Daigle: You Say


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