I received a Christmas greeting through text, “So God throws open the door of this world–and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you.”
I don’t know if it was original with my friend. I asked but he never responded so I won’t assign any credit. If you wrote it let me know. But it was so original and fresh I wanted to share it.
According to Brene Brown, social researcher on shame, without vulnerability there is no creativity, no innovation, no joy. Do you see why God has so much joy? How He (They–if you know me) can be the most joyful being(s)?
My friend’s text went on: “What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death…”
Vulnerability is a God quality. Maybe the highest value of God.
It is of course the lowest on our scale of values. It scares us to death. We fight it like the plague. The last thing we want ever to be is vulnerable. And that is because we all have experienced shame.
The problem is we were made for connection, and that is where we find our greatest satisfaction. According to Brene Brown, shame unravels connection and makes us hide from vulnerability. I have her first TED talk on my Godhelps’ website (http://godhelps.net) because I love it. I’ve heard it over and over, and never tire of it.
But I may have to put up her next one because now I love it too. On this one she says that if you put shame in a petri dish and wanted to feed it, give it secrecy, silence, and judgment.
Shame comes from a root-word meaning “to hide.”
Do you see why God is transparent?
The antidote–Brene says it kills shame–is empathy. Do you see why God became one of us?
Brene says that the best response to shame is “Me too.”
Wowww!!! Did God know what to do? Aren’t you just amazed!
And not just for us, but for the whole watching universe. (See Genesis 2:1-2 and notice the last sentence. I think we were the grand finale.)
God knew exactly what we needed: shame is “I am not enough.” and its progeny is “I don’t have enough, I’m not good enough at…, and I’m not as good as her or him at …”
These feelings and beliefs separate us from God and each other. But connection is our deepest need. So we have to risk being known. (There is that pesky vulnerability again!) God came to say He completely knows us and still wants intimacy with us! We don’t have to hide anymore. (The definition of intimacy is safety.) We are safe. Our secrets are completely safe with Him (Them.)
If your God isn’t like that, you don’t know the real God. He is amazing! I can’t stop saying Wow! Jesus said the one thing necessary for life was a relationship with Him or listening to Him as Mary loved to do (Luke 10:42). If you listen, I already know what He will say, “I love you.” It’s the only thing you really need.
If you are like me, and you read the Bible and don’t get this picture of God, these books might help: This is the first one. It’s God’s story, behind our story, and you can’t really understand the events recorded in the Bible without the story.