To love is to be vulnerable

Vulnerability in friendships is like letting a new kid into the playground. The rest are apprehensive to play with them at first; this is their turf, how could they possibly let someone in?

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“What will the new kid think once they discover the slide is broken and the swing creaks at its every move?” :/

 

The more they play together, the flaws of the playground are slowly revealed to the new child; the mere possibility of rejection is hard to contend with for the frequent kids.

For so long, the community of believers notion was something I was uncomfortable with, let alone confessing of sins to one another.

Yet vulnerability is a means of growing together to honor God in thoughts and deed; a platform through which grace can flow. We have been created to mirror the love and community in the Trinity-not to isolate ourselves from each other as we tend to do.

Or rather, as I tend to do.

Let me get a bit vulnerable with y’all.

I’m a naturalista. Haha! Yes, insert all possible hashtags that you have seen about natural hair on social media. #dontmesswiththefro #kinkycoily #blackgirlmagic #loveyourmane #curlswithlove #teamnatural etc. (I know some of you are wondering how vulnerability and natural hair go together but just go with the flow, all pieces shall come together in the end.) 🙂

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Anyway, I have always maintained my natural hair but boy oh boy did I get excited when the craze of loving our healthy, voluminous hair came along! Isn’t it cool enough that our hair defies gravity? 😀 So, sometime after high school I started ‘investing’ in my hair; some of you may be familiar with the stocks of coconut oil and shea butter ladies have hidden in drawers and terms such as deep conditioning, having a hair regimen, twist outs, bantu knots… let me not get down to the nitty gritty! I guess by now you’ve figured out that hair is a topic dear to my heart…I even remember filling it in as my most favorite possession sometime back during a game I played at a ladies’ fellowship. It occasionally graces my prayer request list as well; my Father knows the number of hairs on my head so why not go ahead and speak to Him about them! 😀

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In addition, I have perfectionist tendencies and tasks such as picking out a hairstyle become a month long research project; looking up one Pinterest picture after the other, ensuring you save the best photos of the style you want, storing them in your gallery to later give as control-test specimen to the hairdresser, who should replicate or better still, produce better results on your hair than is in the photos.

I did all that in my recent trip to the salon. The hairstyle I wanted was all the rage and I had convinced my conservative self to try out something different. A couple of hours later and several novel pages down, I left the salon looking a lot different than when I had gone in. Different is good… sometimes. I really wasn’t sure about the look and hoped to receive words of affirmation from my loved ones. Rather unfortunately, the first person I asked how I looked told me something that replayed in my mind for so long. “It makes you look really old; like a woman who is just about to get married.” :/

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Not that any of those things is offensive to be or do, I mean; God made woman not as a ‘woe to man’ but as a beautiful creation who solicited the first poetic phrases from man. Besides that, God also initiated marriage as a life covenant between man and woman & even uses it as a symbolic picture of the relationship of the church with Him; we are the bride of Christ.

However, that statement hit me so hard, I’ve never wished to undo my hair instantly like I did that evening. Lucky for me, I received several compliments about it ever since that day and it was very interesting contrasting the first response I got with those that followed. With time, I gained confidence and a couple of days down, I still have the hairstyle. Power to the people!

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*Flips hair!* 🙂

Haha…not that I now speak as a veteran of “I learnt how to ignore the negative things in life” crew, but there is something I learnt through that experience; the power of community. It may seem like something small, but do hear me out…

Without the risk of vulnerability, there is no reward of love.

In His love, we have freedom to not be crushed by each other’s flaws.

In His love, we have the assurance that He is the foundation of all our relationships, be it with parents, siblings, friends etc

And most importantly…

In His love, we have the ability to love. With actions and in truth rather than with words or tongue only; to love because He first loved us.


My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

1 John 4:7-12(MSG)


 

Just like jars of clay, we may get cracks and become more fragile, but what is inside is eternal. Broken, frail, feeble jars of clay allow God’s light to shine through their cracks.

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Peeling off our masks is a way of sacrificing ourselves for others. They are no longer competition to be feared; but fellow servants who are needy, thirsty, hungry and afraid. Just like us.

We embrace others in love, not needing anything from them but because our hearts are overflowing-our cups run over- with the love of God. He already sets the example for us; He sees the depths of our hearts yet He loves us the same.

 

To love at all, is to be vulnerable.

Solus Christus.

 

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