As she slipped out of sight the dentist suddenly reappeared with a needle so massive I even doubted it would fit in my cavern of a mouth. I squeezed my eyes shut, resisting the urge to clamp my mouth shut too! Pain was coming inevitably but ultimately it’d be for my good.
We fear things we cannot control and don’t understand, but in order to face our fears we have to be willing to look silly, react in unexpected ways and just be vulnerable.
To be brave, we have to be vulnerable.
This week at work there was an event called ‘Face your Fears’ it encouraged people to book in and face a fear of holding an animal that they were scared of. Among the animals there were snakes, lizards, a tarantula and an owl to choose from. I was amazed as students and staff came into the room afraid and uncomfortable and ended up leaving with a sense of accomplishment and in many cases without fear.
As one by one students encountered a tarantula or held a snake they all began slightly apprehensive, but as they got to hold the animal or even just touch it they realised they could do something they never thought they could. Each one however had to push themselves to the edge of their fear, they had to be brave and were vulnerable at the same time.
At Colour Conference we were encouraged to live bravely and be vulnerable. When hearing this at first I didn’t really think the two belonged together, I mean, bravery is linked with being courageous, facing your own fear or showing courage and being vulnerable is being open to be hurt, to be open to attack.
But thinking about it, to be brave, we have to be vulnerable. If there was no vulnerability there would be no such thing as bravery. If nothing was a challenge there would be no such thing as achievement, if things weren’t a little scary there would be no such thing as courage.
To live bravely means sometimes we have to risk being vulnerable, being looked at differently, and the risk that some may not understand us. When we start any new relationship it takes a mixture of bravery and the willingness to be vulnerable other wise we’d never get past saying ‘hi’ to each other.
We have to be prepared to be vulnerable, to start at the beginning, ask for help and risk looking stupid to get things right or to understand better.
When we live bravely as a Christian that bravery goes hand in hand with vulnerability, we forge a relationship with God where there are no hidden spaces, we allow Him into every part of our life so that he can transform it into something better.
Being brave and vulnerable requires us to trust, we have to walk to the edge of our vulnerability and then have faith and trust the outcome, that’s what bravery is all about.