Not long ago I shared with a gathering of others a way of governance birthed out of a commitment to vulnerable practice. I have been consciously immersed in the research of that practice for some time as I prepare to write my dissertation on its theological roots, its practices and the fullness of life it makes possible. I write particularly, but not exclusively, with a view to pastoral leadership. As I shared the governance practice I was asked whether I would offer some of the thoughts underlying it on my blog. This will be occasional. I welcome your voices, your comments, in the conversation. This is a beginning.
For as long as I can remember I have been aware of my own vulnerability. I encountered it earliest in relationship with my family of origin and with the Holy. I have been alert to the finitude of my life, the possibility of loss, the fragility of what this body self experiences, and of the body that experiences it. I have also experienced vulnerability in words’ inadequacy, words in which and with which I love to live, to express my most profound emotions, my deepest spiritual encounters. I have at times tried in desperate ways to avoid that sense of vulnerability.
Though I am no stranger to the practice of perfectionism, and the attempt to control my environment, I am healed over and over, saved, from that distracting endeavour, by God With Us. It is out of some of my darkest days that my greatest sense of compassion and joy have appeared and live and grow. It is when I acknowledge and inhabit with courage my own vulnerability that I am most whole, most capable of worship, of creativity and compassion, most open to fullness of life.
@ Catherine Smith, 2016