Friday, September 5, 2008

Vulnerability Friday Five

Sally at revgalsblogpals posted the following for the Friday Five:

I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.

So I bring you this weeks Friday 5:

1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?
It comes to me very easily, at times too much so. I feel that I have nothing to hide. Of course, I'm in seminary with a wonderful community of faith. In the parish I suspect I will need to be more guarded in what I share and with whom.

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
I despise pretense and artificiality. Though one must be professional, how can one be an example if he or she appears so perfect? I have found it encouraging when a pastor has been able to share that he or she wasn't sure if they did the right thing in a particular situation (ie. when someone comes to the church off the street that's in financial need).

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
Yes they are. If we do not reveal our true selves we do not have to worry about being hurt or misunderstood. Masks become uncomfortable as well after time for the one wearing them. To maintain that distance from others takes a lot of work.

4. Who knows you warts and all?
My husband and children as well as a few close friends that have walked with me through hell and back. I would add to these my spiritual director in RI. As a sidebar, I would appreciate prayer as I seek to establish a relationship with a new spiritual director while at seminary.

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
There are several, so I will post 2, 1 a song and 1 a prayer.

We arranged our lives as best we can,
to keep your holiness at bay,
with our pieties,
our doctrines,
our liturgies,
our moralities,
our secret ideologies,
Safe, virtuous, settled,
And then you -
you and your dreams,
you and your visions,
you and your purposes,
you and your commands,
you and our neighbors,
We find your holiness not at bay,
but probing, pervading,
insisting, demanding.
And we yield, sometimes gladly,
sometimes resentfully,
sometimes late... or soon.
We yield because you, beyond us, are our God,
We are our creatures met your your holiness,
by your holiness made our true selves.
And we yield. Amen.

Walter Brueggemann from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth

Flickr picture.


Mrs. M said...

Walter Brueggemann is my hero. I'm happy to prayer for your search for a new spiritual director.

Sally said...

I love that Walter Brueggemann prayer, well played

RevAnne said...

Great play, esp. #5.
The balance between perfection and professionalism is a challenge, and one I don't always meet well.
Praying for you!

j said...

Wonderful play, and it's good to be introduced to your blog! Peace...

Choralgirl said...

Mmmmm. Brueggemann. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Good play!

Mary Beth said...

lovely. thanks.

Muthah+ said...

Check out my blog: I too wanted to be that authentic and open and vulnerable. Since you are just beginning your ministry and I am just ending mine, I would call you to learn how to develop and authentic persona not only for your protection but for the protection of your congregants. It took me a long while to learn that I needed it. And I pray that you will be authentic and available to your people without being so vulnerable that you get sliced up.

Ivy said...

Dear sisters...thank you all so much for your comments. Muthah, I haven't read hardly any blogs lately since recovering from Summer Greek. I had no idea at the time, but this Fri. 5 was so apropos. We had our first class in Intro. to Homletical Theory today. As the class was introduced and we discussed sermons to be written/preached, this topic came up. How much vulnerability do we show, how much transparency. I covet all your prayers because I tend to be a sensitive person, easily hurt. Perhaps the public persona is part of developing a thicker skin?? Blessings to you all.

Auntie Knickers said...

As a layperson, I feel there is a fine line between too much vulnerability and too much "perfection" in a clergyperson. And, there are times and occasions when vulnerability and self-disclosure are appropriate and even necessary for the health of the clergy and the congregation. But, letting too much hang out can be a problem too. I have confidence that you can find this balance -- maintaining a relationship with an SD is a really good start! I will keep your search in my prayers.

Ivy said...

Thanks so much, Auntie Knickers. Your input is greatly appreciated. Blessings.

The Unlikely Conversationalist: said...

Auntie K. makes a great point,

Some pastors feel a need to express every feeling; but there are some things that you must deal with alone with your family, friends, and pastor.

It's a tough line; but there's a difference between showing vulnerability and expressing every part of your inner being to the whole world

Ivy said...

You're very right, Unlikely. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Seems it's like walking a tightrope at times. Peace.