I heard a fascinating interview this morning with Yo-yo Ma the renowned cellist, in the On Being podcast with Krista Tippett.
In the course of their conversation they found themselves discussing vulnerability and Ma made the statement that “vulnerability to weakness provides the wholeness of the world.” He suggested that our willingness to be vulnerable allows us to share fully in any given moment with another.
As they continued, Ma made the further statement that our willingness to ask questions reveals our willingness to be vulnerable and open ourselves to someone else’s stories and solutions to situations.
This made me reflect on my experience working in the “church world” over the last 20 years. More often than not, the conversations that were engaged in were the provision of answers, sometimes to questions that weren’t even being asked. Rarely were the nature of the conversations reflecting an openness and willingness to listen to and truly hear others stories and fully embrace a vulnerability that might allow us to be challenged and changed in the course of the shared moment.
I wonder how often this too is reflected in how we approach God.
We approach with the answers in mind, lacking vulnerability and a willingness to truly listen and hear alternatives from the heart of all that is. Our prayers of many words fill the air with the sound of our own voice. This draws me to Luke 18:9-14 the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. “God have mercy on me a sinner” prays the tax collector. The prayer of the truly vulnerable. The prayer of one who is truly willing to commune with the Giver of Grace and be transformed in the shared moment.
Imagine what our lives would look like if we lived into this faith? Vulnerable before God and humanity. Listening openly, willing to be changed and become the answer the world needs in flesh.