Friday Five: Vulnerability

Sally was very thoughtful in this prayerful and sad time in our community. Here's her Friday Five:

I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.So I bring you this weeks Friday 5

1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?
It's hard to say. I've had people tell me I'm too reserved, but they've always been people I didn't feel safe with. I've also had people tell me they don't know people as open as I am. It really comes down to who I feel safe with.

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
You know, this is something I've been talking about a lot lately. I'm not sure that "professional" is the word I'd use, because that sounds a little clinical. I do think that strong boundaries are really important. I think there are times to let other people know that you make mistakes/have hard times/have good times, but I also think we have to be cautious to make sure our sharing isn't just for our own sake.

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
I think less of masks and more of armor. I don't necessarily see myself pretending to be someone else when I need to be protected, just not revealing all of who I am.

4. Who knows you warts and all?
Mr. M. Also, a good handful of college friends. (So much so that sometimes I say to them, "I can't believe you know all the stupid things I've done, and you still love me." Their response? "Yes, but you know mine, too!")

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
I turn to Whitman for prayer a lot, and lately I've really been drawn to this. I don't know that it calls forth my truest self, but it does resonate with my truest self:

Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of thewater,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night withany one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down--or of stars shining so quietand bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans--or to the soiree--or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring--yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women,and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships,with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?


  1. ...another wonderful prayer, I like your thoughts on armour not masks.

  2. Whitman--excellent!
    I suspect professional is not a good term for who we are and what we do. I think vulnerability is essential to forming relationships with people.
    Great play.

  3. Fabulous poem! Thank you.

  4. Phenomenal poem, thanks so much...prayers for your discernment, too.

  5. oh! splendor! thanks for the Whitman.

  6. I can totally relate to "I can't believe you know all that..." because I feel the same way sometimes!

  7. I like your sense of safety and strong boundaries - and the need for armour at times. Discernment is such a valuable gift. Thanks


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins