Sunday, November 25, 2007

To Be or Not to Be - that is the Question

We live in a world that is fraught with pitfalls and lurking dangers everywhere. Not only in a physical sense but also in a personal, relational sense and our natural reaction is to become protective of ourselves, trying to minimize the opportunity for painful experiences – to keep ourselves from being hurt by others.


Webster’s defines vulnerable as “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded, open to attack or danger.”
That certainly sounds like something to avoid at all cost.
That has the sound of ‘victim’ in its definition, something none of us want to be.
And so we learn to avoid putting ourselves in a vulnerable situation.

However, In putting up the protective walls that keep us from being vulnerable we also keep people out…we are not as accessible, we are not as willingly available for someone who is needy , someone who needs a helping hand to encourage or help them along the way .
We even prefer to give to missions overseas…because then there is no danger of us becoming entangled with the person we are ‘helping’.

But is this how God wants us to be? Is this part of the victorious life we are called to?

Some years ago… before my life-saver spell check … I was looking to my heavy Webster to confirm my spelling of ‘vulnerable’.
I found it…but my eyes caught on a word several entries down from ‘vulnerable’.
The word was … ‘vulnerary’

I had never heard of the word…and I suspect you haven’t either. It is not a word that is commonly used.

The meaning of vulnerary is “used for the healing or treating of wounds”.

There is a beautiful description of the heavenly city in Rev. 22:2 that says, “In the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

I see this verse as a break-through verse… where eternal things break through to be used for earthly purposes. God calls us a “tree planted by the waters of life that gives forth his fruit in his season, his leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper!” (Ps. 1:3)

There is no room for being the ‘victim’ in any situation if we are a child of the Father !
We are called, not to be vulnerable, but vulnerary !!!
Not self-centered but other-centered… not focused on our own wounds but looking to heal those of others.

And in the reaching out to heal others… we ourselves walk in health. It’s just the way it works in God’s kingdom.

To be vulnerable, or to be vulnerary…that is the question !!

Which will you choose?

3 comments:

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

What a delightful word to know. I'd enjoy having it engraved on a bracelet, to remember and draw people into conversation.
We've got cold rainy weather here Julie...wish we could hang out together over a cuppa!

Lovella said...

Julie, I agree with you that we are called to "be".
May I be not a victim but rather "vulnerary" in the lives of others.

Carolanne said...

I had never heard of the word vulnerary before but I do like it - and its definition.
I think when we make ourselves vulnerable we are often being vulnerary.

Its still not always easy though!