Love Life: Revelation Conversation
This week’s videos will take up the theme of Revelation. As you get ready for the week, we invite you to listen in on a conversation about Revelation between the Novice Guardian, Br. David Vryhof, and two of the community’s novices, Brs. Jim Woodrum and John Braught. We hope their questions will start your thinking about your own, and give you a glimpse into the Brothers’ daily life as monks who look to the Gospel of John to guide their own lives of love. We hope this coming week will help you to #LoveLife.
Letting go is not easy for me, I build up walls to protect myself, to control what is happening around me. Only to find out that I am not the one that is really in charged.
Letting go is not easy for me, I tend to build up walls to protect myself and to control the circumstances that is going on in my life. When my husaband was very ill, I found out that I was not in control. . Through prayer and support from family and friends, they carried me and my faith. I felt the power of God’s love for me, drying my tears and calming my fear. The warmth of prayer embracing , in a blanket of love feeling very safe.
My favorite saying is “Let go and let God.” I sometimes need to say or think it throughout my day because I like to be in control. I do trust God and do turn to Him whenever I have something happen. But, I also get very frustrated when things don’t go the way I think they should. This is part of my Lenten discipline that I am working on – to not have to be in control- to let go and let God, with God’s help.
I think, “Am I worthy of His love?” , and then I think of the gutsy Canaanite woman, in Matthew, and say “Yes”
At this time I feel very vulnerable, as my husband has a dangerous aneurysm, because of its location, and his health is not good enough for surgery. i pray that it remains as it is until we can spend time with his family. I trust God , that He is with us on the way/
vulnerability. tough one. at the core. I can say I love God and accept God’s love–my compass and protector in his great country—but the truth is that when I encounter that which causes me to feel unsafe, I don’t turn to God. I don’t even remember his presence. I turn utterly to the world of humans–psychology, politics, social dynamics, personal power—and struggle, arm myself, to defend myself from it. So in truth am I only a fair-weather God lover? Because where I need him most, I ignore him utterly. After defended, distrusting, armored encounters in the ‘unsafe’ zone, I retreat to him, as if he is ‘other’ than the worldly present—as if the worldly present is up to me—and on retreat i get to return to him. Why the schism? Didn’t he create and endow this worldly present? Isn’t he present in it as well? Couldn’t I trust in him to be present as guide where I need him most? How do I bring him with me, as guide to bravery, grace, forgiveness, even —heaven help me—playfulness—in the places I am least willing, least able? Trust him. Trust in him. Try.
I believe we need to be vulnerable in order to be embraced. If we are vulnerable, we are opening ourselves up. If we open ourselves up, then we are vulnerable. All sorts of things can happen to us when we are open, including and the best being, embraced by Christ.
Well said, Sr. Donna.
For most of my 76 years, my ability to admit my vulnerability and accept God’s love have been lacking to say the least. My human weaknesses are hard to accept and acknowledge, yet I have always felt rewarded far beyond my own worth. “How could I have possibly achieved that? I must be an impostor!” In recent times I have come to understand that, just maybe, these “achievements” are really His gifts of love in my life. That is a hard thing to remember some times but I now understand it to be true.
I agree that this amazing love He has for us is so much more than a feeling, no it is action! All that I am and have come from Him. Thanks be to God!
Sometimes. It’s difficult to stand emotionally naked willingly. There are times when we’re forced into that position, both joyful and painful moments can bring about our true selves…the unveiled egoless core of who we are. The birth of a child, the death of a loved one. Yet I seek to stand before God in that honest state. I don’t succeed as often as I would like, but when I am able to reach that point of Truth the world simply echos with color.
Being vulnerable with others is like showing up naked. It is terrifying and liberating, scary and rewarding, heartwrenching and courageous. The feelings and thoughts that go along with vulnerability proves our humanness. It proves the vast array of humankind’s common feelings that we all have at one time or another. Feeling and thinking about vulnerability, love, jealousy, fear, kindness portray aspects of how we are really amazing beings. The deepness of any of these feelings shines light that God is there and we are all one.
For me vulnerability comes with complete relinquishment,
complete surrender to God. He has saved my life, from fatal illness; therefore I want to, I have to repeatedly turn my life over to Him, over and over again, day by day. In this way my life is His.
Vulnerability itself seems like a negative trait—weak, defenseless, exposed, in danger. But the not-so-simple act of letting down my defenses to God and exposing myself to His loving guidance actually strengthens me, protects and heals me from the dangers and hurtful realities of life in the trenches. And I find nothing easy or natural about actually doing that!
Yes, I can be vulnerable, but it is really scary. I love to be embraced. I am open book to myself and God and I welcome his love with abandonment. Where I have trouble is with other humans. I have been working on being more human being then human doing.
…sometimes its a little scarey to be so intimate with another human so as to truly believe we are loveable… and that’s why the deep belief (credo) that God has love to spare is so important in my faith life. God’s love truly leads us to the baptismal promises…
I have learned in this past year both the difficulty and the beauty of allowing myself to be vulnerable and embraced. I lost my husband of 27 years very suddenly in January 2013 and found myself thrust into a journey I had certainly not expected to be on. Learning to be vulnerable and embraced, and allowing myself to be both, gave me the ability to have more understanding of the vulnerability of our 4 children, Joe’s parents and siblings, and all of those who loved him, and to embrace each of them. We echo with each other the incredible love God has for us.
I will allow myself to be vulnerable and be embraced – I just have to (as one of the brothers said) be INTENTIONAL about taking the time and to sit still in order to allow those moments of vulnerability to bubble-up.
I find embrace in the variety of nature – the light on a tree, the stormy wind, a bird in flight – which I am certain is the “logos” of God.
I have a really hard time being vulnerable with others and accepting their embraces. As a medical professional I much prefer being the caregiver. Recently, though, I had a major surgery and was forced to depend on a friend to bathe me and so forth. Asking her for help turned out to be the hardest part! It was such a blessing to be cared for in that way.
I am better at being vulnerable with God. When I was younger I lied to God because I wanted to make sure I was “good” enough to get to heaven. Now I know that (1) God knows my heart and my thoughts so there’s no sense in lying, and (2) that I can never be good enough to deserve His love or heaven- and I have His love and the guarantee of heaven anyway! I am still blown away by that!!!
Most of the time, especially since mid-adulthood, I can be vulnerable, and as I age, I can be even more vulnerable, and that is good. Yet, often enough, I still try to control–myself and others. Sometimes it is hard to let go and let God. I don’t truly understand “Love.” If I don’t do something then I feel that I have given up or an on a rudderless ship. Still, I hope and pray that this series and the sermons, and. and, and……will bring me round to understand what Love is, and what part doing the footwork is and when to let go.
It is ususally difficult for me to allow myself to be vulnerable or to be embraced. However, God’s love does break through, and it is often when someone else’s vulnerability provides a gentle catalyst, or it may just come unexcpectedly.
What Novice John Braught says about feelings also resonates with me – my own feelings are often a poor barometer of how much God is actually doing in my life.
I tend to have a hard time accepting others love and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It is almost like a wall I have put up to keep myself from getting hurt.
Vulnerability does not come easy but more and more I see it as a necessity in my journey. God’s embrace can come in many forms to me; my spouse, my children and grandchildren, a beautiful sunset or a kind word. Sadly I don’t always recognize it’s Him reaching out to me.
I do not like to put myself up for rejection as at a job interview . I fear rejection . I am glad to be retired so that is no longer an issue . Perhaps it shows though that my security with God is lacking . I have however realised Gods providential care over the years and through the changes of my life , and the risks I have taken. I agree now I am a cancer patient that life is precious and fragile.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things for me to do. I express my vulnerability in degrees, the closer someone is to my inner circle the more vulnerable I will be with them. This is helpful in some situations where remaining calm and unaffected is a positive and necessary character trait. However, it can be unhelpful in pastoral situations where it could be perceived as distant or uncaring. The challenge for the week is to be more willing to take that risk.
For me one who is not vulnerable is one who believes they have the ability to do whatever they set their minds to do.
I am not, nor have I ever been, one of those people. Therefore, vulnerability is the only state of being I have ever been. I know that Gog and those expressing God’s love through them is the only way I survive.
I have decades of practice at the particular skill of running myself down first, so that no one catches me being arrogant and then can take me down a peg. (This certainly does not mean that I am never arrogant, but I deride myself out loud on purpose because I so fear seeming arrogant.) I think this gets in the way of vulnerability, because what might look like vulnerability (acknowledging my faults) is really a pre-emptive strike aimed at self-protection.
I feel very comfortable with the idea of a God of love, who loves me — and everyone — just as I am, without one plea. But vulnerability and embrace with God is hardly a choice — it just IS. Vulnerability and embrace with other humans is the challenge, for me.
This is an area of my life where I quickly resist and draw back from intimacy with God. “Vulnerable” means able to be wounded. Looking back on past wounds, cuts, bruises it feels safer keep apart and watch God’s will playing out in others, from a distance. So I see where I must go forward, and I trust this Lenten exercise will be a help.
Only with God.
I want to say “Yes!” That is what my soul says. My ego holds back. A few years ago I had a dream where I saw a beautiful white light and I felt the presence of Unconditional Love. The presence was calling me to come into the Light. I felt this Love permeate me and draw me to it – and then I felt myself suddenly pull back. Then the Light gently disappeared. It was a reminder of my lesson to trust and let go.
did you regret pulling back? Did the light come again? Thank you for telling the story.
Yes, I did regret pulling back. The regret was for doubting and not trusting. The thoughts of “What if this is not real?” “What if I’m being tricked?” filled my mind and I became scared.
I knew afterwards that it would a long time before it would happen again – if it happened again.
What I learned is this Light of Love was real. I felt it so I know it is real.
Another question is what would have happened if I had let go into the light.
I ran a tight ship on my life until I was about 55 years old, and I came up against something that I could not surmount or solve on my own. I gave up and allowed God to help me, but I would say circumstances forced me into it. I subsequently went through a crucible of suffering and I allowed myself to be vulnerable to God because I had no choice, no other option. I have ever since been blessed with incredible inner healing and a personal relationship with God, who is often palpably present in my life. When I sense God’s presence, I often literally feel his arms around me in a loving embrace. I am in love with God. I no longer have a problem being vulnerable; I trust him with my life. “[He] turned my mourning into dancing; [he] removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to him and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Ps. 30:11-12). God transformed my life.
There is nothing I can not take to God. I do not fear His rejection or judgement. I may not want His correction yet, but I can always tell Him that I want to want it. So with God, I feel I can be vulnerable and joyfully accept His embrace.
I like what Eugene H. Peterson had to say about the Trinity.
He reminds us that we live in God’s Country. In God’s Country, it is so vast that it’s expanse is so great there is nothing so big that it cannot be contained therein without having enough room for all . The Trinity therefore, is our GPS.
God as Creator, In Jesus, we see History (His- Story) and the Holy Spirit is known in Community. Through the compass of the Trinity, we can travel God’s Country with
confidence and surety that knowing were vulnerable and are apt to lose direction from time to time. It is here God’s directive is voiced in various ways- “Turn Left at the next road continue to the ramp stay in the right lane and return to the Highway.” We first must risk that this GPS exists for our benefit and become vulnerable to acquire and use it.
This is God’s Love and it is always present and available to us. I would guess those using their GPS can also give road help to those who are lost and off track until the finr their GPS.
Where does Peterson say this?
Being vulnerable requires willing myself to release authority of my emotional being. I struggle against being subordinate. This is a heart of my internal hide and seek with God. He beckons me forth, I respond and then retreat. Daily commitment, focus and quiet are antidotes to my fear, but I start and stop and restart even the smallest acts of spiritual discipline. I wonder when I will yield..the Good News is that I believe and know that He is patient and generous. I fear that I will miss out on the abundant life now for my hiding away from his call to deeper intimacy with Him.
Thank you for articulating this, Kathy. I feel somewhat the same.
When you put your trust in God you tend to feel vulnerable. You are not in control, God is and we are uncomfortable with not being the one in control. It’s much safer for God to be the one in control, He doesn’t make wrong decisions.
As a rather new widow, I’m find myself feeling vulnerable in new ways these days and without my partner of 55 years to share the days with me being vulnerable holds a new dimension — but yes, I do feel loved by God constantly, deeply, daily, and most days that brings both joy and contentment.
Twenty-three years ago I had a massive heart attack. I had to learn two things very quickly.
1. to accept help – this was very hard for me.
2. To ask for help – this was very, very hard for me…almost impossible. I’m still learning this one, but I’m getting better at it.
I was forced to learn to accept help. There were things I just could no longer do. I was vulnerable. Being vulnerable in this way made it easier to be vulnerable in other ways. Then I was ordained priest. Now I have to be vulnerable in many more ways. Without the heart attack, I don’t know if I could have done it. I am thankful for the heart attack. It “broke me open”.
I’m working on it.
I feel God loves me and has a plan for me. This became apparent after I returned from Vietnam. Everyone in my group of 10 were either killed or wounded and I missed the battle in order to attend a school. I felt God had another plan for me and I’ve continued to see that plan “played out”. Having said that I prefer not to feel vulnerable. I would much rather help others than have them help me. I need to work on recognizing those times I need help from others and trusting in God to give me help and direction.
Can I be vulnerable with myself? Can I embrace myself? When I was very young, I was very self-critical, always thought I was less than I should be, always saw my mistakes more than my successes. At some point, I realized that if God so loved me that (John 3:16), then by what right did I not love myself. So, I gave in to that love and became more accepting of my inadequacy.
Can I be vulnerable with God? Can I accept his embrace? I think I’ve just answered that.
Can I be vulnerable with others? Can I accept their embrace? Although I feel loved by God, I still feel inadequate to meeting the needs of others. I feel that I disappoint them or let them down or even hurt them unintentionally. It seems to me that I am often simply unaware of what is happening around me. But, with age, I have understood that what I offer to others is often not seen by me or by them. I can feel God using my failures for his own purposes and I am happy to be of some use to him. In fact, it usually works better if he doesn’t show me how he uses me.
Because I have aggressive cancer, I naturally feel more vulnerable than ever, but I have also experienced the embracing of Christ’s love in a new a different way because of my illness.
Feeling vulnerable can also give a feeling of loss of control. It should be more about trust that God is there in that time and won’t let anything hurt you.
I would like to say, “yes” I can allow myself to be vulnerable and to be embraced every minute of every day, but sometimes letting go and being in that state is difficult. Although, in my heart I do know that He is there always to take care of me…to embrace me.
It took me a long time to realize I was God’s beloved. Once that happened I felt more open to revealing myself to other people and to being embraced by them. It’s often hard to be around people who themselves don’t want to be that open. You can’t force it!
This may sound strange but except for a brief period of depression when I was 19 I have always felt loved by God, endeservedly loved. Especially since an encounter with Christ when I was 21, 63 years ago, I have always felt God’s presense and felt that I was special to Him. I love the Gospel of John, especiially the “I am the vine, you are the branches,” passage. I don’t know why God has blessed my life so fully, but He always has..
THht I am valurable I have no doubt. Can allow myself to be embraced is a much bigger question. It is often my fear of rejection that keeps me from allowing me to be fully embraced by God’s love in Christ Jesus. This is indeed what I need to work on during this season of lent.
It is difficult to open myself up and be vulnerable and to trust. I know intellectually that God will not forsake me, but it is still difficult to be open and rely on his love. It is a daily discipline and the rewards are many.
Accepting that I am beloved by God is sustaining. It’s tougher when I am with the creatures of this earth! Asking for help, exposing fears or being less than confident (read vulnerable in these) is sp very much harder. It’s God’s gentle embrace that allows me to trust more and control less: to keep tip toeing towards help, towards revealing fears and insecurities.
That has to be the hardest part doesn’t it? The brief answer is no, but perhaps my constant reaching, searching, longing comes from a need to be vulnerable; to, as they say, let go and let God. Does my fear of vulnerability mean that I can’t let go of control? Or, does it mean that I don’t trust God? What a frightening thought; that would be hell, wouldn’t it?
Not so much can I allow myself to be vulnerable and embraced, for me it is I must, I need to allow myself – in order to grow in the spiritual journey, my God search. Thank you for today’s conversation – especially resonated with Br. John’s sharing – feelings, struggle, challenges.. questions!
yes i can allow myself to be vulmerable by what i consider the right people and be embraced. i always come home from Holy Week at the monastery much refreshed and try to do better with my life. it is certainly an uphill expericence. also you see how much preperation goes into Holy Week by the brothers who are guiding us through that week.
It is easy to grasp our vulnerability. The challenge is to allow God to embrace us and in turn embrace others through his love.
To allow God to embrace us is fairly easy — an embrace feels good, but to be truly vulnerable is not.
I have the tendency to want to shift back to handling things myself instead of being vulnerable and following His lead. This is a constant struggle.
It’s fear filling–living up in the air or in the sea. There is no up or down, no foothold. James Joyce conveys some of that. So does the Book of Revelation.
When I can accept God as the medium which I live in, I realize that God is the ‘ground.’ If I’m atwirl in the medium, gravity isn’t important. Falling, suffocating aren’t dreaded, God feeds and oxygenates me.
I have experienced a portion of this when I’m in water. As confusing as it may seem, I, with my vertigo, am safest there. I can’t fall. God is like the water. Water I can breath, living water.
Yet, I often find vulnerability impossible. So often people who claimed they loved me hurt me in the name of love. That’s where beloved of God comes in. To believe that God a) loves me and b) won’t hurt me and c) won’t force me to become who I’m not; means that I can be vulnerable to God. God as a nurturing medium helps me, flows through me, shares no borders.
God within me. I within God.
Like one of the others who commented that giving their thoughts made them feel vulnerable is my reaction. Self doubts surface and have me asking, “Do I sound smart? Is my comment relevant? This is a plague that I carry with me in other public settings where we are asked to be vulnerable and give of ourselves in a response. Yes, I am vulnerable. It is then that God calms my anxious heart and sets us a situation such as this where His voice says to share my inner thoughts. When life kicks me and I’m down, God sends strangers, friends, and situations in my life where I have a choice to humble myself and accept embraces of love, kind words, offers of help or remain isolated and lick my wounds in silence and alone. Life experiences teach me to accept the embraces. These two are challenges for me to ask, “Will you help me?” Then, I am vulnerable and must open myself for embraces of love. I’m a work in progress.
For me, I find that the more I can trust in God’s love and care for me, the more I am able to be vulnerable. In deep prayer I feel very vulnerable but when I return to my dailly routines, that vulnerability begins to fade again.It is hard for me since I am somewhat of a control freak.
To be looking in on the Gospel story as a “beloved disciple” is very enticing to me! What a beautiful place to be in when contemplating this Gospel!
I realize that I can be vulnerable with God, because I sense His love for me (often enough), and I trust in Him. But: so far, I have avoided, as best I can, to be vulnerable with people I do not trust. The stakes seem far too high to me!!
The only comfort I take is to contemplate Jesus on the cross…how he hung there in his agony, stripped of all human dignity, and scorned and laughed at by his tormentors. He must have known that God, his Father, was with him in his suffering, and that there was, after all was accomplished, another place to go to.
That, I can embrace…
ahhh but remember while Jesus was hanging on that cross he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” That’s the vulnerability. Even Jesus didn’t know the outcome in that moment. It’s one more instance where Jesus taught us how to be vulnerable and showed us that he was fully human as well as being the Messiah/Son of God! I agree Elke, “looking in on the Gospel story as a ‘beloved disciple'” is quite enticing indeed!
I feel as if I am constantly begging God for help…but maybe that is not the same as being vulnerable. Being vulnerable I think means stopping for a moment (or a while) to feel ones aloneness, helplessness, vulnerability, need for help – and then being open to accepting the help that comes, which may be unexpected, incomprehensible, or delayed. And being aware of and looking for whatever blessings are already there or right on the way — because there are always so many of them.
I think to be of use to others – and follow Jesus – I must try to be open and vulnerable, there is always risk in reaching out, in trying to connect, reticence – afraid of offending, of missing people’s needs and God’s love by not listening …..
It is so hard for me to feel worthy of God’s extravagant love. I have trouble even grasping the enormous love He has for us. How can I not want to return that love, but how can I ever return what I receive?
“What we see in the face and form of Jesus is love, a judgment of love; you are judged lovable, you are judged beloved.”
-Br. Curtis Almquist–I thank you!
Over the years, I have dealt with disappointment by deciding I really did not want or need whatever was lacking. While it is true that I do not need anything more than what God provides, suppressing desire was closing my vulnerability. For me, to desire is to be vulnerable. My desires are disordered. But to desire is to be vulnerable.
Thank you for sharing that insight. It resonates deeply in me, but I don’t think I would have landed on it myself.
To be open is to be vulnerable. Choose openness.
Being vulnerable is a hard thing. Vulnerability implies trust, trust that those to whom I am vulnerable will not take advantage of me and use my vulnerability to hurt me or exploit me. Embrace is the same in some ways–if I let you embrace me, will you nurture me or use that closeness to hurt me. So, I am trying to be more vulnerable, posting responses to these questions is a way to be vulnerable and let people see my struggles and hopefully, have them embrace me in my brokenness.
Well said. I can relate to that, I think that we use the human experience to stop ourselves from being vulnerable embraceable. It is what we have to go on. That and the guilt we have at assuming our God is human or limited in His love for us. I too struggle with wanting and allowing.
Very hard. As a professional whose role is to care for and protect others, switch in role is very challenging.
I have a problem trusting God. I know that God is always there and if I ask specifically for help then I have to listen and be mindful because help is there.
As a strong, caring 53 yo woman, it’s always been harder to allow others to care for me than me for them. As a Christian, I often feel that, while in prayer and during specific acts that please God, I am overcome with a physical feeling that Angels flutter their wings around me in approval. That physical feeling I have helps me feel the love and embrace of God.
I’ve found that if I want to be embraced, I have to be vulnerable.
Liz and Deborah are so correct! Letting go of my need to control is so easy to say but so difficult to do. It is more of a process for me to be vunerable certainly not an event. Powerlessness is not to equated with weakness it is, in reality, a strength. Apart fron the hour to hour craziness of this world, in silence, I know the Lord is in control.
Being vulnerable is something that I’ve had to learn how to do over the years. The great thing about God is that I can always be vulnerable with God. When I take the risk of being vulnerable with God, I find that the embrace of God’s love is always close behind. God welcomes my vulnerability and the invitation to let God know the true me – the child that God created.
I can be vulnerable- that’s not so difficult for me. I believe God loves me but I get in the way of receiving his love as I struggle to love myself. This is something I am currently bringing before God and asking for his help in overcoming. I long to not only believe I am loved but to accept it and have it as central in my life.
Being vulnerable is extremely hard as it relates to being powerless. If I can control things, then I don’t feel powerless or vulnerable. But in my heart I realize God is in control. I am working on stepping back and allowing myself to embrace His love and guidance for me.
Good questions. I do forget to ask for God’s help and allow our creator to work through me. I do hate feeling weak, but I seldom take the credit for my deeds or talents. Why is it so hard to allow yourself to feel vulnerable? I’ll ask for God’s help on this subject.
Being vulnerable moves me from the head to the heart. As long as the head is saying “but you need to be in control, you need to take care of things, you need to…” then the heart cannot fully be heard. I believe that our hearts are made to be vulnerable and strong at the same time — what the head might see as fragility, the heart sees as strength and wisdom: this is the willingness to surrender, to be open, to be a conduit for love.
Open Heart, Open Mind, Open Soul, Open Arms, Worth the Risk evan if Rejected, always Learning.
I am fearful of what that means to allow myself to be vulnerable and embraced. We have relationships in our lives that when we have allowed ourselves to vulnerable and embraced, we have found ourselves hurt. Our trust is abused. However, I have found that as I have allowed myself to know God deeper, I can allow myself to be vulnerable and embraced with him.
It is not just a question of trust and faith and submission. I am so wrapped up in the business of the day, my life, my dear family. These weeks I face the manifestation of a cancer, my third. I pray to God, but my heart pounds. The very few who know my situation are burdened. And, I myself cannot quiet my heart. It pounds. But in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep I know I am not alone, that God is with me, and that is sustaining. That I can feel God enough to be able to say that, that I can have this consciousness. There is a peace and love in that alone. The Gospel of John says this so beautifully, In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God.
Roben, thank you for sharing the depth of your vulnerability. Now you are a little less alone because all of us are walking that journey with you. We are vulnerable too, even if you don’t know exactly how.
Like a newborn, one must accept that God will embrace and protect you. You assume that His arms will surround you and His grace comfort you.
Like many people I often find it difficult to be vulnerable. Yet I find that when I do risk it, most people love and accept me as I really am…unmasked.
I must admit that being vulnerable is a difficult thing for me. Yet, when I am exposed to the light of Christ, I cannot help but be vulnerable. It is then when I feel embraced and loved.