Friday, September 10, 2010
The very utterance of the word elicits a desire to cover up vital organs, brace for impact, and protect oneself from certain impending affliction. The series of letters slices through the eardrum wearing a loathsome sneer, “I know your heart, I know your hurt, and I know exactly where to strike.” It wears a face; every person knows the face of vulnerability.
Yet, there remains a desire to redeem this fierce vermin of a term. Perhaps it is a theological disposition? After all, what has vulnerability done to desire such a bad rap; what culpability has he?
Consideration: (Second person intentional)
Has vulnerability left you holding a bucket full of holes?
Has vulnerability made promises it didn’t fulfill?
Has vulnerability whispered sweet, false nothings in your ear?
Has vulnerability harvested you then left you for dead?
Given the data, perhaps there is something in the nature of vulnerability that warrants skepticism. Perhaps it maintains a disposition that is slightly less than loveable and slightly more than horrible…one’s phenomenological response would suggest so. Erickson contends, “Credibility, once compromised, is not easily regained or preserved in other matters,” a position that is nigh impossible to refute.
The “But,” and there’s always a but:
Vulnerability is something like air. The commonality of its essence is pervasive, within both sacred and profane worldviews. In The Four Loves, Jack Lewis poignantly explained that there were two paths a being may take, the path of love (vulnerability) or the path that seeks to protect from loving anything in an effort to protect the heart; in the case of the latter the tale ends sadly, ironically. Some years later Emmylou Harris penned a song in which she states, “God knows how I love you, like a user needs a drug,” this sentiment follows the path of the typical user…down the rabbit hole, but once again provides a paradoxical insight into the psyche.
Yet, there is a theme strung through the profane. Although it hurts and the going is very difficult, there is a need, a want, a desire for this thing; this one dangerous, elusive thing. And the only extant bridge is named Vulnerability. (I do not know the Elvish word for “vulnerability” nor was the English to Elvish online dictionary of any assistance, yet if I did know it, this is where I would use it.)
The human condition exists, in its unaided state, as one of brokenness with an innate desire for complete fulfillment (Here the position is theologically inform). Through this longing for restoration and ultimate communion one finds symptomatic tangential desires, such as said desire for vulnerability, permeating everyday life. Fear not, this urge, though frightening, is proper. It is an exhibition of how life was truly designed to be, yet due to the broken status of the world, vulnerability has yielded searing fruit resulting in a misconception of the entire entity. Vulnerability, at its root design level, seeks to be and provide fruitful relationships; storge, phileo, eros and agape.
While the desire to protect oneself requires one, selfishly, to withdraw into their cave of protection, this place of “respite” will ultimately wield the most damage; sin is a brilliant paradox. Redemption of vulnerability exists as one verb of God’s overarching redemptive outworking.