Rest a While

Photo by Beshef/Flickr/Creative Commons I've been being intentionally vulnerable a lot lately.

Some of that happens on my blog, when I decide to write about something happening in my life right now, instead of something that happened years ago (though both are important), or something that hurts, or is scary, or overwhelming.

A lot of that happens in my day to day, person to person life, when I choose to be myself, knowing that God walks before me. I say the hard things, I open up, I connect, and I am richer for it.

These are all good things. It is good to be brave, I think, and to put yourself out there.

But sometimes that goes wrong.

This week, practicing these things in my life, I encountered someone who took advantage of my bravery. I was open and related on a personal level. This person used that against me, twisting what I said and who I was, making me feel small and poor in spirit.

Photo by Katrina DeFrancesco/Flickr/Creative Commons

I withdrew into myself, not wanting to think about being brave again. Not knowing if I could muster up the strength to be the person I'd been before (or if I wanted to). At times like this, it seems like the best option is to lock myself away and throw away the key. Well, I tried vulnerability, it didn't work for me. 

I don't think that I should hole away forever, but I do think that there is a precedent for recovery. Mark 6:31 really struck me this week. The disciples have just gotten back from a great "mission trip" preaching the gospel, casting out demons, healing the sick. They come back and are so excited to tell Jesus what they have done. He listens, and then: "And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.'"

I love that.

photo by Entrer dans le rêve/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes the world beats us up. Sometimes we go out and are brave and people respond and it's wonderful. Sometimes, they hurt us, or take advantage of us. Either way, I think that we need to remember to come away, to seclude ourselves, to rest a while and allow the Lord to fill and heal us.

It is there, with the Lord, that we can truly be vulnerable, no holds barred, with no fear. In that place, we receive the Divine strength to continue in obedience to love, and to engage with the world, and the grace to rise again, new and whole.