“And all these words that you meant to say
held in silence day after day
words of kindness that our poor hearts crave
please don’t keep them hidden away.” – Josh Groban
Vulnerability. It’s scary, isn’t it? It takes so much courage to show others who you truly are, what you’re passions are, what you really believe in. Sometimes it’s easier to hide behind gossip, gimmicks or grumbles than to actually show someone your weaknesses, insecurities and deep desires. Human beings crave authentic love, which can empower people to be the beautiful, complex, terrifying creatures they really are. Vulnerability is hard because trust is hard. And trust is hard because those who are closest to us can easily break it. Human beings are capable of unthinkable things. When others trust us, we are capable of wounding them deeply and personally– maybe almost permanently. When we show our softer side to others, we are giving them the power to hurt us or help heal us. Love is a gamble that way. But just as humans are capable of horrors, we are also capable of glorious sacrifices, unexpected kindnesses, and unfathomable mercy. I don’t know about you, but more than anything, I want to live out that picture of love. Sometimes, however, I’m at a loss with where to start.
I find it extremely helpful to take a lesson from the “Pulpit of the Cross,” from which Jesus pardoned His enemies. Even before this moment, Jesus’ mercy was shown in the way He gently spoke to people in the throes of sin and suffering. What I would give to live so selflessly! But we can! Christian or non-Christian, Religious or non-religious, each of us are endowed with the capacity for kindness. Even if that kindness is expressed in a simple compliment, or in silent compassion for those who are unhappy or unwell. Have you ever so desired to tell someone how much you admire them, but don’t tell them because you’re afraid? Don’t hold back. Tell them honestly, tell them often: You’re pretty, you smell nice, I like your necklace, thank you, you’re really thoughtful, you made my day, you’re a great cook, musician, friend, writer, dancer, student, or driver… there are so many things to appreciate in others, if we take the time to see them. Don’t wait to share your love; I promise you won’t run out!
This blog post was inspired by “The Divine Romance” by Fulton J. Sheen, “Wholly Mary” by Chris Padgett, Friends, Colleagues and Family who have been endless proof of God’s love for me.
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