Life is like a journey from conception to death.
Starting at the bottom of a hill and ending at the top.
Both the beginning and the end of the journey are outside our control.
That uncontrollable, unpredictable, unexpected moment, I call vulnerability.
Vulnerability is that “unstable feeling we get when we step out [or are forced out] of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control” (Brené Brown).
At conception, we begin our journey climbing up the hill of life.
Because our lives begin and end in vulnerability, the journey provides innumerable moments of vulnerability – moments that “force(s) us to loosen control.”
One of these major moments is loss.
Loss of intimacy and friendships.
Loss of the power to control the decision-making of our children, politicians, enemies, or neighbours.
Loss of property from natural disasters.
Loss of political control.
Loss of security and comfort.
Loss of financial independence.
Loss of influence to determine outcome.
Loss of freedom and independence.
Loss of justice and peace.
Loss of physical strength or mental capacity.
Loss of life – death.
Buried within these losses are the options to fight, fly away, freeze, or embrace it.
Along the journey, the Creator created countless signs to unveil the inner mysterious dynamics of not only dying, but also rising.
The plant, animal, and human world are filled with examples of dying and rising.
These occasion us to not only prepare for the final act of vulnerability, but also to read the succeeding chapter – resurrection.
All that is asked of us is to surrender to the moments of vulnerability.
The surrender that plunges us defenselessly in a myriad of abysses, simply waiting for the God of creation to arrive.
Today, we remember the greatest surrender that echoes loudly across the universal valley of the shadow of death in the voice of Jesus of Nazareth,
“Father, into your hands, I commend my Spirit.”
Many call this a “peaceful death” – the greatest act of vulnerability.
The greatest act of “waiting and trusting”.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Waiting…the most brutal and painful lesson. . .
For the God of creation to act.