Posts Tagged ‘vulnerability’

Real community

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Fear, Oh dear
Tags: , ,

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The other day, I did something really stupid. I dropped a blackboard on my foot. It hurt. Kind of. But I was talking to someone and didn’t want to look like a wuss so I didn’t say anything. I walked to my car, put the board in before looking down in case I was bleeding.

The lump on my foot was enormous. I went straight to find help from someone, quietly putting my hand on their shoulder and asking them to have a look. No fuss. The trouble is, by then I was feeling very sick and wobbly. Because when you don’t say ouch, apparently, your body forces you to take notice in other ways.

A trip to A and E and then later on a fracture clinic has led to a diagnosis of severe soft tissue damage. Two weeks later I’m still on crutches and wearing a Darth Vader boot each time I go out. And I still can’t carry anything around the house unless I either crawl or can put it in a shoulder bag.

The thing is, I’m the world’s worst at asking for help. I just don’t do it. I want to manage by myself, especially now as I’m not in so much pain. I feel like a total idiot going round Tescos in a wheelchair or not even being able to make my lunch. It’s frustrating. And I didn’t realise how ashamed and vulnerable I would feel about displaying the contents of my mostly empty fridge to the world. Yes, apparently I do each a lot of mouldy cheese sandwiches and chocolate biscuits. I didn’t realise that either before.

But yesterday, someone came and demonstrated church community to me. They not only took me round Tescos in that wheelchair, but then took me home, made my lunch, and cleaned my bathroom for me. Then they came and got me to give me dinner and company at their house that evening. And it’s not the first time either.

I’m just so grateful to be part of a community that cares. That makes sure people in need are looked after. It’s not always perfect, and it doesn’t always happen, but it is a shadow of the Kingdom of God breaking through in our world.

The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.

And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.

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Today I shared my testimony with a fairly large group of friends. For the first time in a big group setting, it was unedited, uncut and unabridged. What really happened. Even the bits that are really quite embarrassing or simply just painful.

I felt as if I was laying myself bare. I’m quite happy to share my testimony normally, unless I don’t want to make myself too vulnerable with someone (mostly a pride issue with people I don’t like or don’t trust), but I haven’t really had the courage to share the story of abuse with many people.

Someone warned me afterwards to make sure I didn’t always share to that depth as it could leave me very vulnerable. But then it had been my decision to share what I did, and I don’t think I regret it.

Somehow I want to be able to be vulnerable to people, but work out how to do it without being hurt in the process. Being as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves is coming to mind, in the words of Jesus to his disciples. Something to think about, anyway.