Weakness: Who wants to be its friend?

We carefully choose our friends.  We weigh our options.  Is this person an asset to me? Is this person a liability bringing shame and embarrassment?  As we meet, mix and mingle with persons, these questions are like racing cars darting to and fro in our minds. Well!!  Weakness, in whatever form, is not an attractive friend.

Years ago, a young male family member impregnated a young woman outside of marriage. News of the pregnancy spread like wild fire within the family network of sophisticated modern communication. There were a variety of verbal, emotional and social reactions and responses. The unexpected news generated feelings of shame, embarrassment, disappointment and fear. Some family members chose the route of condemnation and ostracization, while others followed the road sign marked “Mercy and Compassion”. Together, the individual reactions were like a variety of colourful lotto balls spinning wildly in a lotto machine. 

When the fireworks of the news died, everyone returned to their normal lives. The parents embraced the arduous task of pregnancy. The cute baby was born… and Voila! This innocent, frail, helpless and weak gift of God was like honey to ants – it miraculously brought together every member of the family. A 21st century revelation of the incarnation. Weakness now has friends.

Oh! By the way! Didn’t St. Paul speak this to the Corinthian Church? “. . . my power is at its best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12: 9).  Who is attracted to weakness?  None of us…including Paul. Many disciples have discovered and have reluctantly embraced, however, is what weakness brings – a discovery of the indwelling of Christ in us. “Without the ability to bow our stubborn knees to those who are also gifted, we lose the ability even to bow our knees to the Creator who made us each one more beam of Godly beauty which together reflects the radiance that fills the world” (Joan Chittister). 

In bowing to this weak and vulnerable baby, this family bowed to the Creator. 

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